Dr. Brian Dolan is Professor of Medical Humanities and Vice-Chair in the Department of Anthropology, History & Social Medicine in the School of Medicine at UCSF.
University of California-Wide:
- Co-Director of the UC Medical Humanities Consortium
- Editor of book series in "Humanities and the Health Sciences" (University of California Press) and the e-Scholarship Digital Article Respository for the Center for Humanities and the Health Sciences at UCSF
- Recent advisory member of the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI)
UCSF / School of Medicine:
- Member, Admissions Committee, School of Medicine
- Committee on Courses of Instruction (Senate Committee, Graduate Division Representative)
- Committee on Student Research (Dean's Prize)
- Pacific Rim Research Committee
As an undergraduate at the University of Florida, Dr. Dolan began the study of evolutionary biology and pursued research following Professor Jane Brockmann's work on animal behavior in the Department of Zoology. As part of his biological studies and on Brockmann's recommendation, he read Richard Dawkins's books, The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype, which stimulated his interest in science communication and the discipline of the history and philosophy of science. In his junior year he began working with Professor Robert A. Hatch and graduated with highest honors in the Program for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine, with a double-major in English.
Dr. Dolan attended Cambridge University and received his PhD in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. His dissertation work examined the evolution of science education, natural history collections, and scientific expeditions. As a Wellcome-funded post-doc at Cambridge, he researched the history of medical botany and early techniques of pharmaceutical instruction in medical education.
Since arriving at UCSF in 2002, Dr. Dolan has turned his attention to developing new courses for a medical humanities curriculum, and he teaches medical stuents in the Essential Core of the curriculum, including the longitudinal course "Foundations of Patient Care." As part of the learning curve for examining contemporary issues in the health sciences, Dr. Dolan is participating in a number of innovative professional retraining opportunities afforded by UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the Training in Clinical Research (TICR) programs. To improve the content and level of instruction from within the social sciences aimed at medical and science students and gradautes, he has studied the essential core medical curriculum and has worked with the deans of medical education on the uses of reflective writing exercises in residency programs.
These activities attempt to create new dialogues and complementary research projects between the social and biomedical sciences which will lead, it is hoped, to more "clinically relevant" outcomes from research in the medical humanities and social sciences, as well as a well-defined model of instruction for medical and science students concerned with the manifestation of biomedical knowledge beyond the walls of the clinic or lab.
Having had the opportunity to explore some of the world's best archives, his desire to write for a wide audience has resulted in a number of monographs in British and European social history, and most recently the origins of an intriguing American musical technology- the player piano (and its links with early digital recording technologies). More information about these books can be found by following the links above (see "Recent Books and Articles Published").