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School of Medicine

Master Class

International Master Class on the History of Medicine

Distance-learning course (in French and English)

On-site learning course (in French only)


Director : Professor Fabiani, a surgeon at Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Thoracic Surgery Department at Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris (France), University Professor.

Co-director: Professor Berche, Professor Emeritus, Former Dean of the Paris Descartes School of Medicine, Director of the Pasteur Institute of Lille (France).

Pedagogical co-ordinator : Mr Harel, Paris ( France)

For further information :

The Master Class sessions are open to all health professionals and to anyone interested in the history of medicine.


The Descartes Programme will be available on Paris Descartes University moodle platform along the following format: 3 hours per month over a ten- month-period,from January to December 2018.

The sessions will cover the calendar year from January 2018 to December 2018.

 Master ClassCore Aspects

  1. The History of Medicine Programme will focus on the lives of renowned and emblematic medical figures. Medicine-related issues,such as icono- diagnoses, medicine in Antiquity,significant breakthroughs will also be addressed.
  2. The monthly lectures will be recorded and available on the University e- learning platform, three days after the lecture itself.
  3. The 2018 sessions will be available both in French and /or in English,thus enabling English-speaking participants to enroll.
  4. The distance learning University platform will provide a valuable tool to those who are geographically far from our university.The lectures can be accessed 24/7, with no limit over the year.

Master Class Organisational Structure

Eligibility: anyone with a keen interest in the History of Medicine.

Format: ten lectures over a ten-month period ( i.e. one lecture per month from January to December 2018).

Venue: the on-site lectures will be held at :

Paris Descartes University,12,rue de l’ Ecole de Médecine,

75006 Paris,in the Salle du Conseil ( Ist floor),on Fridays ( 17:00 – 20:00), once a month.

No lectures will be held during university holiday breaks.

The lectures will also be available on the Paris Descartes distance-learning platform.

Accreditation: Two options are available:

Option A) The students who choose to watch the ten recorded lectures are then required to provide a short dissertation (either in French or in English) covering a topic related to the History of Medicine.

Once approved by the pedagogical committee, the dissertation ( or ‘mémoire’) will have to comply with the university requirements.

The format of the dissertation will follow a specific plan, previously sent to all the students on this programme.

The Master Class directors will grade the student’s’mémoire’,and then deliver a ‘University Certificate of a Master Class Programme in the History of Medicine,at Paris Descartes Medical School,Paris,(France).

Option B) The students may choose not to write a ‘mémoire’ but are

nevertheless, very keen to register on this course.They will be awarded a ‘ Validation of Distance-Learning Programme Attendance, at Paris Descartes Medical School,Paris, France.

The participants will be required to attend the ten lectures with an 80% attendance rate.

Programme registration: as of late November 2017 until mid-January 2018 (when the programme starts.)

Please,see the online registration option below.

Registration fees:

350 euros (including university registration)

e-registration to the History of Medicine Master Class

  1. connect to : C@nditOnline

http// or type in: CanditOnLine in your search engine

open an account via your personal email address

  1. fill in your personal data
  2. click on ‘Nouvelle candidature’ (new application), then select ‘Faculté de Médecine’ ( Medical School department),then ‘Séminaire’ ( seminars) and then ‘Masterclass Histoire de la Médecine à distance’ ( Distance Learning Master Class in the History of Medicine).
  3. provide a copy of your ID card ( PDF format) ( National Identity Card or valid passport)

We recommend the use of Mozilla or Chrome for an optimal use of your e- registration application.

For any additional information, feel free to email us at: or


PROGRAMME : January 2018 to December 2018

Friday 26 January : « The History of Mankind »

Part One: ‘ Where? When? How did the First Human appear on Earth?’ by Pr Yves Coppens, Honorary Professor, paleoanthropologist,world -renowned specialist of Man’s evolution,Member of the French Academy of Medicine,Member of the French Academy of Sciences, Professor Emeritus at the Collège de France. In 1974, Pr.Coppens discovered Lucy.

Part Two: « Deciphering ancient DNA to understand our origins » by Professor Emeritus Patrick Berche,physician, Honorary Dean of Paris Descartes School of Medicine (France),co-director of the History of Medicine course at Paris Descartes University, Director of the Pasteur Institute of  Lille (France).

Friday 9 February:   « Avicenna, Prince  of   Scientists »

Part One: « Historical Context of the Avicenna Era » by Pr.Joël Chandelier, historian,Associate Professor

Part Two: « Avicenna or the Adventure of Medicine » by Professor Jean-Noël Fabiani, surgeon, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at HEGP (Georges Pompidou European Hospital), Paris, University Professor at Paris Descartes (France), Director of the History of Medicine Course at Paris Descartes University.

Friday 23 March:  « Maimonides, a doctor in the Middle Ages »

Part One « Maimonides and his time » Mr. Jacques Attali, engineer (Ecole Polytechnique), economist, writer and high-ranking French official,former advisor to President François Mitterand (Paris)

Part Two: « Maimonides and medicine »: Dr. Ariel Toledano, angiologist, lecturer in the History of Medicine at Paris Descartes School of Medicine. Dr Tolédano has published many books on the History of Medicine

Friday 13 April:  « Medicine in the Time of  the Pharaohs »

Part One: « Society in Egypt under the pharaohs, an introduction » Dr. Bernard Ziskind,cardiologist, author of many books on medicine and ancient Egypt.

Part Two: « Medicine in the Time of the Pharaohs » Dr. Bruno Halioua, dermatologist, lecturer in the history of medicine at Paris Descartes School of Medicine, has published many books on the history of medicine.

Friday 11 May:  « The French University Hospital Reform of 1958″

Part One:  » Historical background:the Early Years of the ‘5ème République’. Pr Nicolas Roussellier, researcher at Sciences Po, former ENS student, Associate Professor of History,doctor and Ph-D supervisor. Pr Roussellier has specialized in political history and, more specifically, in the history of constitutional transformations over the 20th century.

Part Two: « The University Hospital Reform of 1958 in France »: Honorary Professor Bernard Debré, urologist, French politician, former Minister, former MP, Member of the National Advisory Ethics Committee.

Friday 15 June:  « The  Raft  of  the Medusa,  the epic  of  a  drama »

Part One: « History of a tragic episode in the navy » Mr. Denis Rolland, curator of the National Navy Museum of Rochefort.

Part Two: « a Doctor’s perspective on the gestation of a work » Pr.Jacques-Louis Binet, hematologist, Member of the National Academy of Medicine (permanent secretary), co-producer of scientific programmes on France Culture ( French radio),with a passion for contemporary art that he taught at the Ecole du Louvre. He is also a member of the Academy of Fine Arts.

Friday 21 September: « 1867 inauguration of Sainte-Anne Psy

chiatric Hospital in Paris »

Part One: »Psychiatry in France in the nineteenth century » Dr. Michel Caire, psychiatrist, has published many articles and books on the history of psychiatry.

Part Two : « Sainte- Anne psychiatric hospital in Paris »: Dr. Pascal Martin, psychiatrist and hospital practitioner,has specialized in the history of psychiatry.

Friday 26  October :  « Sherlock Holmes and the medical sciences of  his time »

Part One: « Forensic science in the 19th century » Dr. Marc Renneville, historian in Human Sciences, specialist in the field of crime and justice, faculty member and researcher.

Since 2008, Dr Renneville has conducted research for the Ministry of Justice and the Centre for Research on the History of Science and Technology and at Sciences- Po History Centre. Since September 2015, he has been in charge of a newly set-up joint unit (CNRS and Ministry of Justice): CLAMOR.

Part Two: « The adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the sciences of his time ».

Mrs Dominique Meyer‑Bolzinger, Lecturer at the University of Haute-Alsace (Mulhouse) where she teaches XXth century French literature. Specialist in crime novels, she is particularly interested in investigation, from the point of view of fictit

ious investigation methods, with regard to their prevailing presence in contemporary literature.

Friday 16 November: « Women, Medicine and Motherhood »

Part One: Deciphering the doctor-patient relationship through the ages Mrs. Nathalie Pranchère, Archivist Paleographer, Graduated from Ecole Nationale des Chartes. researcher whose work has focused on health professions (UMR 8596, Paris, France).

Part Two: « Midwives: birth of a professional body »: Ms. Nathalie Pranchère will give the second talk.


Friday 7 December: « The GreatWarandthe « BrokenFaces ».

During First World War I, 40% of the French army suffered disabling wounds, nearly 15% of the wounded soldiers suffered facial injuries.

Part One: « The Great War or the tale of a hecatomb »:

Professor Jean Yves Le Naour, Historian, a most renowned specialist of the Great War. Paris, (France).

Part Two: « Reconstructive Surgery in the First World War  »

Pr. Laurent Lantieri, plastic surgeon, University professor, head of reconstructive surgery and aesthetics department at Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris (France). On June 26, 2010, he completed the first full face transplant on a patient with Von Recklinghausen’s disease.

End  of  2018  History  of  Medicine Master Class ,  end-of-course party