Center for the History of Family Medicine Award Recipient Constance Putnam


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May 20, 2013


Description: CEP June 2012

Constance E. Putnam, PhD

Photograph © by Courtney May. Used with permission.

The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) announced today the winner of the 2013 CHFM Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine.


Constance E. Putnam, PhD of Concord, Massachusetts,  has been awarded the Third Annual Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine  for her project “Rural General Practice as Forerunner of Today’s Family Practice.”


Dr. Putnam is an independent scholar and researcher and is the author of numerous books and articles in the field of  Medical History, Bioethics, and Medical Education.  She holds a PhD from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and formerly served as an Instructor in Biomedical Ethics at Simmons College in Boston.




Dr. Putnam’s fellowship project, “Rural General Practice as Forerunner of Today’s Family Practice,”  will focus on a largely unexamined archive of letters and papers from Dr. Putnam’s personal collection that detail the life and career of a General Practitioner (GP) from rural northern New England who practiced during the middle decades of the twentieth century–a period often nostalgically referred to as a “Golden Age” in American medicine.


According to Dr. Putnam,  “For historians as well as for physicians, richer insights into the ways and extent to which the best of the GP era has or has not been retained in the Family Practice era should improve understanding of the potential and benefits of Family Medicine as a specialty today,” noting also that “I believe that the more patients in general understand about the nature of medical care—whenever, wherever, and however delivered—the better the whole system will work for all of us.”


Dr. Putnam plans to prepare two articles for publication from her resulting research, one for physicians and one for medical historians, and eventually intends to publish a book comprising a collection of letters from her archive. On receiving the fellowship award Dr. Putnam said, “I am gratified to have the CHFM recognize the potential value of my project, and I very much look forward to the opportunity to see how the archive of which I have custody meshes with the current archival holdings of the CHFM.”



The CHFM presently sponsors one $1,500 Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine each year. Interested family physicians, other health professionals, historians, scholars, educators, scientists and others are invited to apply for the 2013 Fellowship.


The successful applicant will be awarded a fellowship grant in an amount of up to  $1,500 to support travel, lodging and incidental expenses relating to conducting research on a project of their choosing dealing with any aspect on the history of General Practice, Family Practice, or Family Medicine in the United States.  For more information, please visit the Center’s website.


Housed at AAFP headquarters and administered by the non-profit AAFP Foundation, the Center for the  History of Family Medicine serves as the principal resource center for the collection, conservation, exhibition and study of materials relating to the history of Family Medicine in the United States.  For more information on the Center, please contact Center staff via telephone at 1-800-274-2237 (ext. 4420 or 4422), via fax at (913) 906-6095, via e-mail at, or visit our website.

Published in: on June 11, 2013 at 10:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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