History of medicine is an extensive and very complex science. In a simple and classical understanding, it has an informative and associative role. Although it is not easy for students to understand the multiple implications of the history of medicine, its importance becomes more evident during their academic formation. The students must be persuaded particularly about the ethical and cultural values that history of medicine has in their training. Furthermore, history of medicine participates in creating the necessary perspective for shaping the future of medicine in the next decades. This is, perhaps, the most interesting role that the history of medicine should play from the modern point of view of students and young physicians. This paper presents different ways of understanding the roles of the history of medicine regarded from the traditional perspective to the contemporary point of view.


history of medicine, formative role, tradition, modernity, medical education