Duffin, Jacalyn 1950–
Duffin, Jacalyn 1950–
(Jacalyn Mary Duffin, Jackie Duffin)
Born June 9, 1950; daughter of Ken (in plumbing business) and Eileen May (an educator) Duffin; married Lansing Lipton (a physician; died, 1981); married Robert David Wolfe, 1982; children: (first marriage) Joshua; (second marriage) Jessica. Education: University of Toronto, M.D., 1974; University of Paris-Sorbonne, D.E.A., 1983, Ph.D., 1985; L'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, diplôme, 1985.
Office—History of Medicine, Queen's University, 78 Barrie St., Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
General practice of medicine in Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland, Canada, 1977; Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, hematologist/oncologist, 1980-82; University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Hannah Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Medicine, 1985-88; Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, 1988—. Consulting hematologist at Kingston General Hospital, 1988—; member of international advisory group to Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine, University College, London, 2001-06; distinguished visiting professor at University of Pennsylvania, 2007; Noguchi Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, 2008.
American Association for the History of Medicine (president, 2004-06), American Osler Society, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Canadian Society for the History of Medicine (president, 1999-2001), History of Science Society, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (fellow).
W.F. Connell Award for Teaching Excellence, Queen's University, 1992, 1999, and 2001; Silver Award, National Magazine Awards Foundation (Canada), 1997, and National Journalism Award, Canadian Nurses Association, 1998, both for "Medical Miracle"; Friend Award, Canadian Federation of Medical Students, 2000; Hannah Medal, Royal Society of Canada, 2001, for To See with a Better Eye: A Life of R.T.H. Laennec; Oswald Avery Medal, Dalhousie University, 2002; J.W. Estes Award, American Association for the History of Medicine, 2002, for "Poisoning the Spindle: Serendipity and Discovery of the Anti-Tumor Properties of the Vinca Alkaloids"; Joanne Goodman Lecturer, University of Western Ontario, 2002; David Horrobin Prize (with Lola Cuddy), Medical Hypotheses, 2005, for "Music, Memory and Alzheimer's Disease."
(Translator, with Russell C. Maulitz) Mirko D. Grmek, History of AIDS: Emergence and Origin of a Modern Pandemic, Princeton University Press, 1990.
Langstaff: A Nineteenth-Century Medical Life, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.
To See with a Better Eye: A Life of R.T.H. Laennec, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998.
History of Medicine: A Scandalously Short Introduction, University of Toronto Press (Buffalo, NY), 1999.
Lovers and Livers: Disease Concepts in History, University of Toronto Press (Buffalo, NY), 2005.
(Editor, with Arthur Sweetman) SARS in Context: Memory, History, Policy, McGill-Queen's University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2006.
Also author of articles "Medical Miracle," Saturday Night, December, 1997; "Poisoning the Spindle: Serendipity and Discovery of the Anti-Tumor Properties of the Vinca Alkaloids," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 2000; and "Music, Memory and Alzheimer's Disease," Medical Hypotheses, December, 2004.
Contributor to books, including French Medical Culture in Nineteenth-Century Atlanta, edited by Ann La Berge and Mordechai Feingold, 1994; Muse and Reason: The Relation of Arts and Sciences, 1650-1850, edited by B. Castel, J.A. Leith, and A.W. Riley, 1994; Oxford Companion to Canadian History, edited by G. Hallowell, 2004; and Poetics of Biography, edited by Thomas Söderqvist, 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including Biologica, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadienne d'histoire de la médecine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, Continuity and Change, Genitourinary Medicine, History and Philosophy of Life Sciences, Isis, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Journal of the Medical Humanities, Medical History, Labour/Le Travail, and Queen's Health Sciences Journal.
For twenty years Jacalyn Duffin has occupied the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, publishing widely in journals and books in addition to fulfilling her teaching responsibilities. She has won awards for both her teaching and her writing; according to Mindy A. Schwartz in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, "Duffin is one of those wonderful authors who are able to make medical concepts both interesting and accessible."
Langstaff: A Nineteenth-Century Medical Life is Duffin's first work of medical history, a detailed study of the forty-year career of Ontario, Canada, physician James Miles Langstaff. Through examination of the daybooks he kept for his practice, Duffin "explores the reaction of one physician to the scientific transformation of medicine," as Mark W. Cortiula wrote in the Urban History Review. She shows how Langstaff responded to new developments, for instance by removing drugs revealed to be poisonous from his stock of medicines, and she delves into areas neglected by other writers, including abortion and infanticide. Cortiula expressed reservations about some aspects of the book, for example what he called Duffin's "occasional tendency to engage in conjecture" and her use of some American studies that he found inappropriate to the Canadian context, but he nevertheless deemed it a "well-written book" that "makes a significant contribution towards the understanding of nineteenth-century medical practice."
Frequently invited to speak in her areas of expertise, Duffin gave the 2002 Joanne Goodman Lectures at the University of Western Ontario—regarded as the most important history lecture series in Canada. These three lectures, in which Duffin explores the relationship between disease and culture and discusses how society medicalizes and demedicalizes certain conditions over time, were later published as the book Lovers and Livers: Disease Concepts in History. Taking lovesickness as an example, Duffin shows how its symptoms of mood swings, mental distraction, and obsessive behaviors led society to think of it for centuries as a disease, although it is considered one no longer. Schwartz commented that the author "cleverly uses modern medical concepts from psychiatry, neurosciences, and addictions (for example, codependency) to understand the pathologic side of love." Duffin also deals with hepatitis C, a sexually transmitted disease which is recognized as a disease because it is caused by a detectable organism, but which in some people causes no symptoms and does not progress. Still, asymptomatic patients were considered "tainted with the ‘bad’ type of infection usually reserved for drug addicts and homosexuals," wrote Dorian Deshauer in CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal. Noting Duffin's stated aim to convince her audience that "diseases are ideas," Historian reviewer K.F. Kiple suggested that most readers "will be convinced before the journey between the first and last pages ends, and everybody should find the trip entertaining." Both Kiple and Schwartz described Duffin's writing as "elegant," and Deshauer added that the book could "serve to stimulate discussion."
In addition to writing her own books, Duffin has also edited books. Clio in the Clinic: History in Medical Practice is a collection of autobiographical essays by physicians who found their knowledge of history (symbolized by the title's reference to Clio, the muse of history) useful in their work with patients. John Pickstone in the Lancet described it as an "admirable book," and Anne Marie Todkill of CMAJ considered it "a demonstration that historical insight (and sometimes serendipity) can help good doctors be even better ones." SARS in Context: Memory, History, Policy, which Duffin edited with Arthur Sweetman, examines the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a new viral disease that affected more than 400 Canadians. The book explores the interactions of medical professionals and journalists, discusses analyses of the outbreak, and looks at the role of government and the economic impact of the disease. Reviewing the book for CMAJ, Erica Weir stated that SARS in Context "provides some refreshing accounts and balanced insights."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June, 1999, Frederic L. Holmes, review of To See with a Better Eye: A Life of R.T.H. Laennec, p. 1005.
American Scientist, January-February, 1992, Ross E. McKinney, Jr., review of History of AIDS: Emergence and Origin of a Modern Pandemic, p. 86.
British Medical Journal, September 24, 2005, Judith Green Rodriguez, review of Lovers and Livers: Disease Concepts in History, p. 702.
Canadian Book Review Annual, 2005, Alan Belk, review of Clio in the Clinic: History in Medical Practice, p. 426; 2006, Geoff Hamilton, review of Lovers and Livers, p. 426.
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 2001, review of History of Medicine: A Scandalously Short Introduction, pp. 393-394.
Canadian Historical Review, December, 1994, Andrew Holman, review of Langstaff: A Nineteenth-Century Medical Life, p. 636.
Canadian Journal of Public Health, January-February, 2008, C. Mark Cheung, review of SARS in Context: Memory, History, Policy, p. 78.
Canadian Literature, winter, 1995, Judy Z. Segal, review of Langstaff, p. 195.
Choice, June, 1994, J. Maienschein, review of Langstaff, p. 1602; July-August, 1998, G. Eknoyan, review of To See with a Better Eye, p. 1884.
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, July 5, 2005, Anne Marie Todkill, "The Historical Present," p. 63; September 27, 2005, Dorian Deshauer, "Disease as Idea," p. 790; June 19, 2007, Erica Weir, "Reflections on SARS," p. 1863.
Historian, winter, 2006, K.F. Kiple, review of Lovers and Livers, p. 904.
Isis, December, 1992, Gerald M. Oppenheimer, review of History of AIDS, p. 693; December, 1994, Joel D. Howell, review of Langstaff, p. 712; March, 1999, Stephen Jacyna, review of To See with a Better Eye, p. 133; March, 2001, Hughes Evans, review of History of Medicine, p. 140; March, 2007, Caroline Hannaway, review of Lovers and Livers, p. 168; December, 2007, Judy Z. Segal, review of SARS in Context, p. 870.
JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, October 18, 2006, Lisa Boult, "History, Practice," p. 1910.
Lancet, March 18, 2006, John Pickstone, "History and Practice in Medicine," p. 893.
Nature, March 26, 1998, W.F. Bynum, review of To See with a Better Eye, p. 349; September 22, 2005, Andrew Scull, "An Ill-Defined Idea?," p. 481.
New England Journal of Medicine, September 22, 1994, C. Stuart Houston, review of Langstaff, p. 816; July 30, 1998, Paul Oglesby, review of To See with a Better Eye, p. 353.
New Republic, July 8, 1991, Thomas W. Laqueur, review of History of AIDS, p. 36.
New Scientist, October 3, 1998, review of To See with a Better Eye, p. 51.
New York Times Book Review, November 18, 1990, Erik Eckholm, review of History of AIDS, p. 14.
OHS Bulletin, December, 2007, Pat Raible and Chris Raible, "Plague," p. 36.
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, spring, 2007, Mindy A. Schwartz, review of Lovers and Livers, p. 312.
Quarterly Review of Biology, December, 1999, Matthew Ramsey, review of To See with a Better Eye, p. 454.
Queen's Quarterly, summer, 1994, review of Langstaff, pp. 478-488.
Quill & Quire, October, 1999, review of History of Medicine, p. 36.
Reference & Research Book News, March, 1994, review of Langstaff, p. 53.
Science, April 19, 1991, Elizabeth Fee, review of History of AIDS, p. 453.
SciTech Book News, March, 2006, review of Lovers and Livers.
Urban History Review, October, 1995, Mark W. Cortiula, review of Langstaff, p. 58.
Wilson Library Bulletin, June, 1991, Peg Padnos, review of History of AIDS, p. 142.
Wilson Quarterly, autumn, 1991, review of History of AIDS, p. 105.
Queen's University School of Medicine Web site,http://meds.queensu.ca/medicine/ (September 19, 2008).