Course detail: The Medical History of the American Presidency

This multimedia course details the impact injury and illness have had on the American presidency and, ultimately, United States and world history. Over the 232 years of the American Presidency there have been extraordinary advances in both diagnostic and treatment options for medical illnesses and injuries. Both the treatment at the time of presidential illness and speculation on outcomes with the advantage 21st century medical care will be discussed. We will also examine the changing American press and effects on disclosure of illness. Hidden illnesses in the White house are detailed, including clandestine surgery performed on a president on a yacht at sea, and illness and circumstance leading to the first "functional" woman president and re-election of a dying president. The fascinating medical history of Andrew Jackson and medical truths regarding John F. Kennedy are explored. Other topics covered include the medical aspects of presidential assassinations, controversies regarding the medical care and competency of the White House physicians, Dwight D. Eisenhower's heart attack, the health issues of 2020 presidential candidates, and health demographics which may affect the future of the American presidential elections. The course is designed to be historical, informative, entertaining, at times humorous, and ultimately inspirational and patriotic.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Jay Murphy is a recently retired cardiologist who practiced in Johnson County, Kansas for forty years. After being raised in Ohio and graduating from Denison University and The Ohio State College of Medicine, he completed post graduate training at the University of Kansas in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Over his career he has been board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Echocardiography and Lipidology. He has spoken widely on preventive cardiology and the above topic and is the author of What Ails the White House, An Introduction to the Medical History of the American Presidency. 

Course Accessibility Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in an event, pleaseemail lpe@ku.edu orcall 913-897-8530 at least three weeks before the first day of the event. 


Available sessions