Course Description

ONLINE: This lecture-based course will survey medical quackery from historical times to the present. The course will start with an exploration of the origins of this fraudulent health practice and proceed to explain the varieties of ways in which quackery manifests itself. From there, we will look at specific examples of unconventional medical practices beginning with a detailed look at phrenology, mesmerism and physiognomy. We will then examine the well-known phenomenon of snake oil. We will look at a wide variety of nostrums, potions, elixirs and salves that have been promoted over the years as effective therapies. We will also explore gadgets and equipment as examples of quackery that do not involve medication. The overall aim of the lectures is to help students distinguish appropriate medical practice from bogus therapeutics. While safety is always our highest concern, some humor cannot be avoided. Your questions will be welcome. | Lecture + Q&A.

Max enrollment: 60.

Class sessions are recorded.

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