Are the Medical Humanities for Sale? Lessons from a Historical Debate

Scott H. Podolsky, Jeremy A. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In November of 1959, William Bean published in the Archives of Internal Medicine a scathing review of Félix Martí-Ibañez’s Centaur: Essays on the History of Medical Ideas. Martí-Ibañez and Bean were two of the leading exponents of the importance of medical humanism during a formative period from the 1950s through the 1970s. But the two physicians differed fundamentally in their views of the ideal relationships among the pharmaceutical industry, the medical profession, and the medical humanities. We situate Bean’s review within its historical context, shedding light on the history and diverging uses of the medical humanities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-370
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Medical Humanities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Félix Martí-Ibañez
  • History of medicine
  • Medical humanities
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • William Bean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


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