Knowing the history of medicine is important to understand the present and prepare for the future.
That's the premise behind a new lecture series at the University of Toledo named for S. Amjad Hussain, a professor emeritus in surgery in the UT college of medicine who also is a university trustee.
The inaugural talk will be at 5 p.m. today in Health Education Room 100 by Dr. Jeffrey Gold, UT provost and executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the medical college.
The lecture, "Surgery of the Heart," will look at the progression of the care of heart disease from its earliest inception with the legacy of Aztec warriors in the 1400s to the use of robotics and fixing children with heart defects in utero. "It's just fascinating about how people thought about health care and how superstition, religion, politics, and tradition have woven into forming medicine," Dr. Gold said.
And an overwhelming majority of the advances in caring for the heart have occurred since the mid-1950s, so the progression of that arm of medicine is especially interesting, he said.
Dr. Hussain, who is a retired thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, said he is "humbled and flattered" the university would name a lecture series after him and said Dr. Gold is the perfect person to begin the series off because of his experience and their shared love of history.
"I have a very old and deep interest in history in general and particularly history of medicine," he said.
"For me, history is a common denominator in many of the human endeavors and it is true of history of medicine and surgery."
Lectures about the topic will not only interest medical professionals, but anybody curious about the progression of modern medicine, Dr. Hussain said.
"It's not only fascinating, but also important because it really puts into context what we do today," he said. "It helps us chart a course for the future."
The lecture series is a way to honor Dr. Hussain, who has contributed a lot to the university, Dr. Gold said.
Dr. Hussain was a faculty member for more than 30 years at the former Medical College of Ohio's surgery department.
He and his family helped start an endowed professorship. The S. Amjad Hussain Endowed Professorship in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery will help the university attract national talented professionals, Dr. Gold said.
Dr. Hussain's family contributed a foundational pledge of $500,000 to start the endowment, which required $1 million to fund the professorship.
The Hussain family also has established a visiting lectureship related to nursing in honor of Dr. Hussain's late wife, Dorothy Hussain.
Despite his long career as a surgeon and teacher, Dr. Hussain said he will learn a thing or two from Dr. Gold today. "I look forward to sitting in the audience and learning his take on the history," he said.