John Warner, PhD

  • Avalon Professor in the History of Medicine and Professor of American Studies and of History
  • Chair, History of Medicine
  • Acting Chair, Program in the History of Science and Medicine

John Harley Warner, a historian who focuses on the transnational history of medicine and science, received his Ph.D. in 1984 from Harvard University (History of Science), and from 1984-1986 was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London.

In 1986 he joined the Yale faculty with a primary appointment in the School of Medicine, where he is now Avalon Professor and Chair of the Section of the History of Medicine with a fully split faculty appointment in the Department of History. His research interests include the cultural and social history of medicine in the 19th and 20th century, comparative history (particularly North American, British, and French medicine), and medical cultures since the late 18th century.

He is especially interested in clinical practice, orthodox and alternative healing, the multiple meanings of scientific medicine, travel and cross-cultural exchange, tensions between the physician's identity as scientist and as healer, and the interactions among identity, narrative, and aesthetics in the grounding of modern medicine. He is a professor and core faculty member in the Yale University Program in the History of Medicine and Science.

Research interests
History; History of Medicine; Public Health
Research summary

History of medicine; Medical education; Professionalism; Public health; Clinical medicine; Experimental life science

  • PhD, Harvard University, 1984
  • MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1977
  • co-edited with Hans Pols and Michele Thompson (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press), Spring 2017.
  • in Hans Pols, Michele Thompson, and John Harley Warner, eds., "Translating the Body: The History of Medical Education in Southeast Asia" (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press), with Hans Pols and Michele Thompson, forthcoming in spring 2017.
  • Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 70 (2015): 623-652. (With David Jones, Jeremy Greene, and Jacalyn Duffin).
  • in Nanami Suzuki, ed., Healing Alternatives: Care and Education as a Cultural Lifestyle (Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2014), Senri Ethnological Reports, No. 120: 55-91.
  • (The Fielding Garrison Lecture) Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 88 (2014): 1-47.
  • Nursing History Review 22 (2014): 1-5.
  • Health and History 15 (2013): 1-4. With Naomi Rogers.
  • The Lancet 381 (2013): 1452-1453.
  • Medical Humanities, forthcoming; and an earlier version: Journal of Peking University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) [in Chinese], forthcoming.
  • 2009; with James M. Edmonson.
  • Baltimore and London, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, March 2004, co-edited with Frank Huisman, paperback edition, 2006.
  • Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001; co-editor with Janet A. Tighe.
  • Princeton University Press, 1998. New paperback edition (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Fall 2003)
  • Harvard University Press, 1986; with new preface, Princeton University Press, 1997.
Current projects
  • Current research:
    • A book with the working title The Quest for Authenticity in Modern Medicine.
    • A study of the transformation of the hospital patient chart, 19th through 21st centuries, tentatively titled Bedside Stories: Clinical Narrative and the Grounding of Modern Medicine.
    • A book-length study tentatively titled The Death of James Jackson, Jr. and the Birth of the American Clinic.
  • Graduate Mentor Award