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profileScott Harris Podolsky, M.D.

TitleProfessor of Global Health and Social Medicine
InstitutionHarvard Medical School
DepartmentGlobal Health and Social Medicine
AddressHarvard Medical School
Global Health
641 Huntington Ave
Boston MA 02115
Phone617/432-4142
Fax617/432-4737
vCardDownload vCard (login for email)
Other Positions
TitleDirector of Center for the History of Medicine
InstitutionHarvard Medical School
DepartmentCountway Library of Medicine


Collapse Mentoring 
Collapse current student opportunities
Available: 07/05/17, Expires: 07/06/20

The student will pick a topic of his or her choice and be supervised in framing their inquiry and in conducting historical research using primary, secondary, and often archival sources. They will benefit from the resources available at the Countway Library and its Center for the History of Medicine, one of the most comprehensive history of medical collections in the world.

Collapse completed student projects
Public Perception of a Profession: Viewing Dentistry through Paintings and Popular Images
Summer, 03/01/13 - 08/16/13
Shifting attitudes towards health disparities: The Office of Negro Health Work from 1932-1951
Summer, 06/11/12 - 07/27/12

Collapse Bibliographic 
Collapse selected publications
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Podolsky SH. Historical Perspective on the Rise and Fall and Rise of Antibiotics and Human Weight Gain. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Jan 17; 166(2):133-138. PMID: 28114473.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Scott H. Podolsky. The Common Reader. Review of ""Illuminating Disease: An Introduction to Green Fluorescent Proteins". 2017.
  3. Barr J, Podolsky SH. Listerism Then and Now. Lancet. 2017; 389:1002-1003.
  4. Podolsky SH, Greene JA. Are the Medical Humanities for Sale? Lessons from a Historical Debate. J Med Humanit. 2016 Dec; 37(4):355-370. PMID: 25096857.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Bothwell LE, Podolsky SH. The Emergence of the Randomized, Controlled Trial. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 11; 375(6):501-4. PMID: 27509097.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Bothwell LE, Greene JA, Podolsky SH, Jones DS. Assessing the Gold Standard--Lessons from the History of RCTs. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jun 02; 374(22):2175-81. PMID: 27248626.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Podolsky SH. Margaret Humphreys, Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), pp. xiv, 385, $34.95, hardback, ISBN: 9781421409993. Med Hist. 2016 Apr; 60(2):277-8. PMID: 26971605; PMCID: PMC4847407.
  8. Podolsky SH, Kesselheim AS. Regulating Homeopathic Products - A Century of Dilute Interest. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jan 21; 374(3):201-3. PMID: 26789866.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Scott H. Podolsky. ISIS. Review of "The Development of Scientific Marketing in the Twentieth Century". 2016; 107:443-444.
  10. Scott H. Podolsky. Social History of Medicine. Review of "Health Care in America: A History". 2016; doi: 10.1093/shm/hkw095.
  11. Scott H. Podolsky. Review of "The Lock and Key of Medicine: Monoclonal Antibodies and the Transformation of Healthcare". Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. 2016; 71:235-237.
  12. Podolsky SH, Jones DS, and Kaptchuk TJ. From Trials to Trials: Blinding, Medicine, and Honest Adjudication. Blinding as a Solution to Bias, eds. Robertson CT, Kesselheim AS. 2016; 45-58.
  13. Podolsky SH, Lie AK. Futures and their Uses: Antibiotics and Therapeutic Revolutions. Therapeutic Revolutions: Pharmaceuticals and Social Change in the Twentieth Century, eds. Greene JA, Condrau F, and Watkins ES. 2016.
  14. Podolsky SH, Powers JH. Regulating Antibiotics in an Era of Resistance: The Historical Basis and Continued Need for Adequate and Well-Controlled Investigations. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Sep 01; 163(5):386-8. PMID: 26167660.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Hwang TJ, Gibbs KA, Podolsky SH, Linder JA. Antimicrobial stewardship and public knowledge of antibiotics. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 Sep; 15(9):1000-1001. PMID: 26333323.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Martin SA, Podolsky SH, Greene JA. Overdiagnosis and overtreatment over time. Diagnosis (Berl). 2015 Jun 01; 2(2):105-109. PMID: 29540020.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Jones DS, Podolsky SH. The history and fate of the gold standard. Lancet. 2015 Apr 18; 385(9977):1502-3. PMID: 25933270.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Scott H. Podolsky. Review of "Fungal Disease in Britain and the United States, 1850-2000: Mycoses and Modernity". Medical History. 2015; 59:490-491.
  19. Scott H. Podolsky. Review of "Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation's Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824.". Chronicles of Oklahoma. 2015; 93:367-369.
  20. Scott H. Podolsky. The Antibiotic Era: Reform, Resistance, and the Pursuit of a Rational Therapeutics. 2015.
  21. Martin, SA, Podolsky SH, and Greene JA. Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment over Time. Diagnosis. 2015; DOI 10.1007/s10912-014-9301-9.
  22. Podolsky SH. [Extended Essay] Review of Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biology and Biomedical Sciences. 2015; 50:90-93.
  23. Scott H. Podolsky. Chronicles of Oklahoma. Review of "An Army Doctor on the Western Frontier: Journals and Letters of John Vance Lauderdale, 1864-1890.". 2015; 93(1):119-120.
  24. Podolsky SH, Bud R, Gradmann C, Hobaek B, Kirchhelle C, Mitvedt T, Santesmases MJ, Thoms U, Berild D, Kveim Lie A. History Teaches Us That Confronting Antibiotic Resistance Requires Stronger Global Collective Action. J Law Med Ethics. 2015; 43 Suppl 3:27-32. PMID: 26243240.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Podolsky SH. Serotherapy for Ebola: back to the future. Ann Intern Med. 2014 Nov 18; 161(10):742-3. PMID: 25110967.
    View in: PubMed
  26. Greene JA, Podolsky SH. Tishler PV, Wenc C, Loscalzo J, eds. The Teaching Hospital: Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Evolution of Academic Medicine, 1913-2013. New York: McGraw Hill, 2014, pp. 2-51. The Teaching Hospital. 2014.
  27. Podolsky SH. Metchnikoff and the microbiome. Lancet. 2012 Nov 24; 380(9856):1810-1. PMID: 23189332.
    View in: PubMed
  28. Greene JA, Podolsky SH. Reform, regulation, and pharmaceuticals--the Kefauver-Harris Amendments at 50. N Engl J Med. 2012 Oct 18; 367(16):1481-3. PMID: 23075174; PMCID: PMC4101807.
  29. Phillips CJ, Greene JA, Podolsky SH. Moneyball and medicine. N Engl J Med. 2012 Oct 25; 367(17):1581-3. PMID: 23033979.
    View in: PubMed
  30. Greene JA, Jones DS, Podolsky SH. Therapeutic evolution and the challenge of rational medicine. N Engl J Med. 2012 Sep 20; 367(12):1077-82. PMID: 22992071.
    View in: PubMed
  31. Jones DS, Podolsky SH, Greene JA. The burden of disease and the changing task of medicine. N Engl J Med. 2012 Jun 21; 366(25):2333-8. PMID: 22716973.
    View in: PubMed
  32. Chalmers I, Dukan E, Podolsky S, Davey Smith G. The advent of fair treatment allocation schedules in clinical trials during the 19th and early 20th centuries. J R Soc Med. 2012 May; 105(5):221-7. PMID: 22637772; PMCID: PMC3360533.
  33. Podolsky SH, Greene JA, Jones DS. The evolving roles of the medical journal. N Engl J Med. 2012 Apr 19; 366(16):1457-61. PMID: 22512480.
    View in: PubMed
  34. Podolsky SH. . Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Review of "Pills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War America and its Consequences.". 2012; 86:486-7.
  35. Podolsky SH. Gesnerus. Review of "Lifesavers for Millions". 2012; 69:362-4.
  36. Podolsky SH. "Pharmacological Restraints": Antibiotic Prescribing and the Limits of Physician Autonomy. Prescribed: Writing, Filling, Using, and Abusing the Prescription in Modern America, eds. Greene JA, Watkins, ES. 2012; 46-65.
  37. Opinel A, Tröhler U, Gluud C, Gachelin G, Smith GD, Podolsky SH, Chalmers I. Commentary: The evolution of methods to assess the effects of treatments, illustrated by the development of treatments for diphtheria, 1825-1918. Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Jun; 42(3):662-76. PMID: 22253300.
    View in: PubMed
  38. Podolsky SH, Greene JA. Combination drugs--hype, harm, and hope. N Engl J Med. 2011 Aug 11; 365(6):488-91. PMID: 21830965.
    View in: PubMed
  39. Podolsky SH, Smith GD. Park's story and Winters' tale: alternate allocation clinical trials in turn of the century America. J R Soc Med. 2011 Jun; 104(6):262-8. PMID: 21659401; PMCID: PMC3110964.
  40. Podolsky SH, Greene JA. Academic-industrial relations before the blockbuster drugs: lessons from the Harvard Committee on Pharmacotherapy, 1939-1943. Acad Med. 2011 Apr; 86(4):496-501. PMID: 21346508.
    View in: PubMed
  41. Podolsky SH. Antibiotics and the social history of the controlled clinical trial, 1950-1970. J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2010 Jul; 65(3):327-67. PMID: 20215414.
    View in: PubMed
  42. Podolsky SH. Jesse Bullowa, specific treatment for pneumonia, and the development of the controlled clinical trial. J R Soc Med. 2009 May; 102(5):203-7. PMID: 19417054; PMCID: PMC2677421.
  43. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs". Nature Medicine. 2009.
  44. Charles S. Bryan and Scott H. Podolsky. Doctor Holmes at 200: The Spirit of Skepticism. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009; 361:846-847.
  45. Scott H. Podolsky, Charles S. Bryan, editors. Oliver Wendell Holmes: Physician and Man of Letters. 2009.
  46. Podolsky S. "Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Spirit of Scepticism": a symposium at the Countway Library. Watermark (Arch Libr Hist Health Sci). 2009; 33(1):20-1. PMID: 21361070.
    View in: PubMed
  47. Greene JA, Podolsky SH. Keeping modern in medicine: pharmaceutical promotion and physician education in postwar America. Bull Hist Med. 2009; 83(2):331-77. PMID: 19502716.
    View in: PubMed
  48. Scott H. Podolsky and Jeremy A. Greene. "A Historical Perspective of Pharmaceutical Promotion and Physician Education". Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008; 300(7):831-833.
  49. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy". Chemical Heritage Newsmagazaine. 2008.
  50. Podolsky SH. The importance of archives for the history (and practice) of medicine and science. J Hist Dent. 2008; 56(3):127-30. PMID: 19213263.
    View in: PubMed
  51. Scott H. Podolsky. "Quintessential Beecher: Surgery as Placebo - A Quantitative Study of Bias". International Anesthesia Clinics. 2007; 45(4):47-63.
  52. Scott H. Podolsky. Pneumonia before Antibiotics: Therapeutic Evolution and Evaluation in Twentieth-Century America. 2006.
  53. Podolsky SH. The changing fate of pneumonia as a public health concern in 20th-century America and beyond. Am J Public Health. 2005 Dec; 95(12):2144-54. PMID: 16257952; PMCID: PMC1449499.
  54. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Biomedical Platforms: Realigning the Normal and the Pathological in Late Twentieth-Century Medicine.". Journal of the History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences. 2004; 59:602-604.
  55. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Heredity and Infection: The History of Disease Transmission.". Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 2003; 77:970-971.
  56. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Felix D'Herelle and the Origins of Molecular Biology.". Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. 1999; 16:366-367.
  57. Scott H. Podolsky, Artur Zembowicz, Frederick J. Schoen, Richard J. Benjamin, and Larry A. Sonna. "Massive Myocardial Necrosis in Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: A Case Report and Review of the Literature.". Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. 1999; 123:937-940.
  58. Scott H. Podolsky and Alfred I. Tauber. "Nietzsche's Conception of Health: The Idealization of Struggle.". Nietzsche, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Edited by Babette E. Babich and Robert S. Cohen. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1999; 299-311.
  59. Podolsky S. Cultural divergence: Elie Metchnikoff's Bacillus bulgaricus therapy and his underlying concept of health. Bull Hist Med. 1998; 72(1):1-27. PMID: 9553272.
    View in: PubMed
  60. Scott H. Podolsky and Alfred I. Tauber. Generation of Diversity: Clonal Selection Theory and the Rise of Molecular Immunology. 1997.
  61. Podolsky SH, Tauber AI. Darwinism and antibody diversity: a historical perspective. Res Immunol. 1996 May; 147(4):199-202. PMID: 8844895.
    View in: PubMed
  62. Podolsky S. The role of the virus in origin-of-life theorizing. J Hist Biol. 1996; 29(1):79-126. PMID: 11609220.
    View in: PubMed
  63. Scott H. Podolsky and Alfred I. Tauber. "Review of Origins of Life: The Central Concepts.". Quarterly Review of Biology. 1994; 69:253-254.
  64. Tauber AI, Podolsky SH. Frank Macfarlane Burnet and the immune self. J Hist Biol. 1994; 27(3):531-73. PMID: 11639430.
    View in: PubMed
  65. Podolsky S, Tauber AI. Yogurt for candidal vaginitis. Ann Intern Med. 1992 Aug 15; 117(4):345-6. PMID: 1637033.
    View in: PubMed
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