Edward Shorter

Professor & Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
263 McCaul Street, Room 408



Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Atlantic World
Cultural and Intellectual
Gender, Sex and Sexualtieis
Medicine and Healthcare


A social historian of medicine, healthcare, and psychiatry, Professor Shorter has published extensively in these fields, including histories of obstetrics/gynaecology (Women’s Bodies), cardiovascular surgery (Heartbeat of Innovation),the physician-patient relationship (Doctors and Their Patients), psychosomatic illness (From Paralysis to Fatigue), psychiatry (A History of Psychiatry from the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac) and sexualities (Written in the Flesh: A History of Desire). He is also the author of Partnership for Excellence: Medicine at the University of Toronto and Academic Hospitals (2013), which traces the evolution of Toronto’s academic health science network.

Since 1991 Shorter's primary appointment has been in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, where he holds the Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine. Since then he has emerged as the pre-eminent historian of psychiatry, and is the author of numerous books on the evolution of this specialty, including A HIstory of Psychiatry from the Era of  the Asylum to the Age of Prozac (1997); Before Prozac (2009).  His latest volume on the subject, What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5 (2015); and The Rise and Fall of the Age Psychopharmacology (2021), offers a unique perspective on the decline of  psychiatric drug treatments, based on extensive research, discovered in litigation, into the pharmaceutical industry.


PhD, Harvard University