Author: nlbarnes

Imperial College Students win the Royal Society of Medicine’s Norah Schuster Prize for History of Medicine

Norah Schuster PrizeThe School of Medicine are very pleased to announce that two of our 5th year Medical students, Zeena Mougammadou-Aribou and Sam Tindall both won prizes at this year’s Royal Society of Medicine Norah Schuster Prize.

This prestigious prize is awarded for the best student essay relating to the history of medicine. Zeena and Sam (seen below at the Award Ceremony in April) won the prize for the mini-projects which they conducted during the History of Medicine specialist course, taken as part of their intercalated BSc. They each received a £100 book token and a year’s membership of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Zeena’s mini-project considered a surgical procedure which was marketed in the 18th century for the management of teething in children. Interestingly, until the 19th century a large portion of child mortality was attributed to teething, which was perceived to be a dangerous period in child development. The surgical procedure was invented by a man named Joseph Hurlock and it involved cutting the gums of teething children so the teeth could come through unobstructed. Hurlock used clever and innovative marketing techniques to ensure that his procedure became widely used. However, these techniques were also controversial; for example, criticising the reliability of nurses and the effectiveness of other techniques used for teething infants.

From left: Dr Michael Weatherburn (Sam's project supervisor), Zeena M-A, Dr Emily Mayhew, Sam and Dr Neil Tarrant (Zeena’s Supervisor and History of Medicine course head) a t the Norah Schuster Awards Ceremony
From left: Dr Michael Weatherburn (Sam’s project supervisor), Zeena M-A, Dr Emily Mayhew, Sam and Dr Neil Tarrant (Zeena’s Supervisor and History of Medicine course head) a t the Norah Schuster Awards Ceremony

Sam’s mini-project examined how a strong focus on the Western Front during World War 1 meant that the Italian Front was overlooked in historical writing and therefore in public perception. The war took place in the Alps between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The terrain and weather conditions made this battle unique in many ways when compared with the rest of WWI. The injuries and ailments afflicting soldiers fighting in this region are therefore very different to those perceived to have affected soldiers at the time. This includes frost bite and the risk of avalanche in the winter, and lightning strikes and malaria in the summer.

The School of Medicine would like to congratulate Zeena and Sam on their excellent achievement and to thank Dr Neil Tarrant, the History of Medicine Course Director, and his team for all of their work on the course.

Nicole Barnes
Curriculum Administrator (BSc Pathways)
Faculty Education Office (Medicine)