Scott Podolsky, M.D.

Director of Center for the History of Medicine
  • Center for the History of Medicine
  • (617) 724-4132

Research Interests:

History of 19th- and 20th-century therapeutics, with a focus upon the history of antibiotics, the evolving authority of the controlled clinical trial, and relationships among physicians, the pharmaceutical industry, and governmental agencies.

Dr. Podolsky has co-authored Generation of Diversity: Clonal Selection Theory and the Rise of Molecular Immunology (1997), authored Pneumonia before Antibiotics: Therapeutic Evolution and Evaluation in Twentieth-Century America (2006), and co-edited Oliver Wendell Holmes: Physician and Man of Letters (2009). His current research, concerning the history of antibiotics over the past half-century, looks at evolving interactions among physicians, patients, pharmaceutical companies, governmental agencies, and therapeutic reformers throughout this period.

 

Dr. Podolsky is an associate professor in the Department of Social Medicine and a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. Since 2006, he has served as the director of the Center for the History of Medicine based at the Countway Medical Library.

Dr. Podolsky graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in history and science. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School.

  1. Podolsky SH. Serotherapy for ebola: back to the future. November 18, 2014. Annals of internal medicine.

    Link to Abstract
  2. 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 January 1, 2014. The Teaching Hospital.

  3. Podolsky SH. Metchnikoff and the microbiome. November 24, 2012. Lancet.

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  4. Greene JA, Podolsky SH. Reform, regulation, and pharmaceuticals--the Kefauver-Harris Amendments at 50. October 18, 2012. The New England journal of medicine.

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  5. Phillips CJ, Greene JA, Podolsky SH. Moneyball and medicine. October 3, 2012. The New England journal of medicine.

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  6. Greene JA, Jones DS, Podolsky SH. Therapeutic evolution and the challenge of rational medicine. September 20, 2012. The New England journal of medicine.

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  7. Jones DS, Podolsky SH, Greene JA. The burden of disease and the changing task of medicine. June 21, 2012. The New England journal of medicine.

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  8. 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. May 1, 2012. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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  9. Podolsky SH, Greene JA, Jones DS. The evolving roles of the medical journal. April 19, 2012. The New England journal of medicine.

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  10. Podolsky SH. . Bulletin of the History of Medicine January 1, 2012. Review of "Pills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War America and its Consequences.".

  11. Podolsky SH. Gesnerus January 1, 2012. Review of "Lifesavers for Millions".

  12. 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. December 5, 2011. International journal of epidemiology.

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  13. Podolsky SH, Greene JA. Combination drugs--hype, harm, and hope. August 11, 2011. The New England journal of medicine.

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  14. Podolsky SH, Smith GD. Park's story and Winters' tale: alternate allocation clinical trials in turn of the century America. June 1, 2011. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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  15. Podolsky SH, Greene JA. Academic-industrial relations before the blockbuster drugs: lessons from the Harvard Committee on Pharmacotherapy, 1939-1943. April 1, 2011. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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  16. Podolsky SH. Antibiotics and the social history of the controlled clinical trial, 1950-1970. March 9, 2010. Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences.

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  17. Podolsky SH. Jesse Bullowa, specific treatment for pneumonia, and the development of the controlled clinical trial. May 1, 2009. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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  18. Greene JA, Podolsky SH. Keeping modern in medicine: pharmaceutical promotion and physician education in postwar America. January 1, 2009. Bulletin of the history of medicine.

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  19. Podolsky S. "Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Spirit of Scepticism": a symposium at the Countway Library. January 1, 2009. Watermark (Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences).

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  20. Charles S. Bryan and Scott H. Podolsky. Doctor Holmes at 200: The Spirit of Skepticism January 1, 2009. New England Journal of Medicine.

  21. 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" January 1, 2009. Nature Medicine.

  22. Scott H. Podolsky, Charles S. Bryan, editors. Oliver Wendell Holmes: Physician and Man of Letters January 1, 2009. Oliver Wendell Holmes: Physician and Man of Letters.

  23. Scott H. Podolsky and Jeremy A. Greene. "A Historical Perspective of Pharmaceutical Promotion and Physician Education" August 20, 2008. Journal of the American Medical Association.

  24. Podolsky SH. The importance of archives for the history (and practice) of medicine and science. January 1, 2008. Journal of the history of dentistry.

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  25. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy" January 1, 2008. Chemical Heritage Newsmagazaine.

  26. Scott H. Podolsky. "Quintessential Beecher: Surgery as Placebo - A Quantitative Study of Bias" September 15, 2007. International Anesthesia Clinics.

  27. Scott H. Podolsky. Pneumonia before Antibiotics: Therpeutic Evolution and Evaluation in Twentieth-Century America January 1, 2006. Pneumonia before Antibiotics: Therpeutic Evolution and Evaluation in Twentieth-Century America.

  28. Podolsky SH. The changing fate of pneumonia as a public health concern in 20th-century America and beyond. October 27, 2005. American journal of public health.

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  29. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Biomedical Platforms: Realigning the Normal and the Pathological in Late Twentieth-Century Medicine." January 1, 2004. Journal of the History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences.

  30. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Heredity and Infection: The History of Disease Transmission." January 1, 2003. Bulletin of the History of Medicine.

  31. 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." January 1, 1999. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

  32. Scott H. Podolsky. "Review of Felix D'Herelle and the Origins of Molecular Biology." January 1, 1999. Canadian Bulletin of Medical History.

  33. Scott H. Podolsky and Alfred I. Tauber. "Nietzsche's Conception of Health: The Idealization of Struggle." January 1, 1999. Nietzsche, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Edited by Babette E. Babich and Robert S. Cohen. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers..

  34. Podolsky S. Cultural divergence: Elie Metchnikoff's Bacillus bulgaricus therapy and his underlying concept of health. January 1, 1998. Bulletin of the history of medicine.

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  35. Scott H. Podolsky and Alfred I. Tauber. Generation of Diversity: Clonal Selection Theory and the Rise of Molecular Immunology January 1, 1997. Generation of Diversity: Clonal Selection Theory and the Rise of Molecular Immunology.

  36. Podolsky SH, Tauber AI. Darwinism and antibody diversity: a historical perspective. May 1, 1996. Research in immunology.

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  37. Podolsky S. The role of the virus in origin-of-life theorizing. January 1, 1996. Journal of the history of biology.

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  38. Tauber AI, Podolsky SH. Frank Macfarlane Burnet and the immune self. January 1, 1994. Journal of the history of biology.

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  39. Scott H. Podolsky and Alfred I. Tauber. "Review of Origins of Life: The Central Concepts." January 1, 1994. Quarterly Review of Biology.

  40. Podolsky S, Tauber AI. Yogurt for candidal vaginitis. August 15, 1992. Annals of internal medicine.

    Link to Abstract

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