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John Warner, PhD

Avalon Professor in the History of Medicine and Professor of American Studies and of History; Chair (on leave Spring 2024), History of Medicine

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John Warner, PhD



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. He is a professor and core faculty member in the Yale University Program in the History of Medicine and Science and professor of American Studies.

His research interests include the cultural and social history of medicine in the United States from the early 19th century to the present, and transnational and transcultural comparison. Hi is particularly interested in the history of medical education, professional identity, clinical practice, and the visual cultures of medicine.

Current projects include Bedside Stories: Clinical Narrative and the Grounding of Modern Medicine, and The Death of James Jackson, Jr. and the Birth of the American Clinic. My current research and writing centers on a book titled The Quest for Authenticity in Modern Medicine, which traces anxieties about what was being marginalized, lost, or placed at risk of being lost with the late-nineteenth century emergence of a new version of reductionist, laboratory-based scientific medicine, and explores maneuvers of selective return and restoration from that time through the present.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (1986)
  • PhD
    Harvard University (1984)
  • MA
    University of Wisconsin-Madison (1977)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Graduate Mentor AwardYale University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.2010

Departments & Organizations