Due to a private event, the New-York Historical Society will be closed on Wednesday, October 27 – Friday, October 29. We'll reopen at 11 am ET on Saturday, October 30.

Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers
Collaborative Programs
Non-Fiction at the Bryant Park Reading Room
Nancy Tomes
Wed, August 23rd, 2017 | 7:00 pm

Event Details

In collaboration with the New-York Historical Society, the Bryant Park Reading Room presents a series of free lectures on popular topics including the Supreme Court, the Cold War, presidential biography, and more.

From the early 20th century, when the modern American healthcare system was beginning to take shape, through the present day, aggressive advertising and marketing has played a critical role in shaping how medical professionals and patients alike approach treatment options. As our contemporary political leaders continue to debate how to ensure citizens have access to healthcare, historian Nancy Tomes examines the impact of rebranding patients as “consumers” and turning health insurance and the latest drugs into “must-have products.”

Nancy Tomes is Distinguished Professor of History at SUNY Stony Brook and the author of Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers, which was awarded Columbia University’s 2017 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy.


This program will be held at the Reading Room in Bryant Park. The Reading Room is located on the 42nd Street side of the park between 5th and 6th Avenues. Look for the burgundy and white umbrellas.

Rain Venue: In case of summer showers, there will be an on-site tent. In case of severe weather, please check for the indoor location or contact the New-York Historical’s Department of Public Programs at 212-485-9205.


Free Admission. No advance reservation is required. First come, first served.


This program is produced in partnership with the Bryant Park Corporation

Creative: Tronvig Group