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Assistant Professor Katherine D. Van Schaik Publishes New Book

Posted by on Friday, January 12, 2024 in Uncategorized.

In How to Be Healthy, Adjoint Assistant Professor of Classical and Mediterranean Studies and Vanderbilt University Medical Center practicing physician Katherine D. Van Schaik presents a collection of Galen’s enduring insights about how we can take care of our bodies and minds, prevent disease, and reach a healthy old age. The second-century Greek physician Galen—the most famous doctor in antiquity after Hippocrates—is a central figure in Western medicine. A talented doctor, surgeon, writer, philosopher, teacher, pharmacologist, and inventor, Galen attended the court of Marcus Aurelius, living through outbreaks of plague (likely smallpox) that devastated the Roman Empire. He also served as physician for professional gladiators, boasting that only two fighters died during his first year (his predecessor had lost sixteen). In writings that provided the foundation of Western medicine up to the nineteenth century, Galen created a unified account of health and disease. In this accessible book, instructive for general audiences, students, and those with deeper knowledge of the classical Mediterranean world, Dr. Van Schaik shares her unique perspective on Galen, acquired from her PhD studies in Classics, Ancient History, and Classical Art and Archaeology (Harvard University and University College London) as well as her MD training (Harvard Medical School) and work as a practicing physician.

How to Be Healthy can be viewed on its official book page on the Princeton University Press Website. Professor Van Schaik also spoke on the book in an episode of the New Books Network podcast and in a Princeton University Press blog about the book.