Medical History Conference of the West

Opioids and addiction will be the theme of the 18th annual Medical History Conference of the West to be held Friday, April 13, at Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies.

The free public event, titled “Our Age of Anxiety: Opioids, addiction and the flight from reality – the tradition of ‘Do no harm,’” will offer a variety of talks. Among them will be the history of opioids and their usage, opioid pharmacology in historical perspective and the history of opioid use in the urban American West. The conference will run from 2 to 5 p.m. in the museum’s Hager Auditorium, with an hour-long reception to follow.

The conference is free, but those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to the WWAMI Medical Education Program office by Wednesday, April 4. RSVPs should include the name of the person sending the RSVP and the number of individuals attending with that person. RSVPs may be emailed to

The conference is sponsored by the Volney Steele Endowment for the Study of Medical History and the WWAMI Medical Education Program at MSU.

The schedule is:

2 p.m. – Introduction and welcome by Martin Teintze, director of the MSU WWAMI Medical Education Program

2:10 p.m. – “History of opioids and their usage” by Dr. Gene Slocum, who is on staff at Bridger Orthopedic and Sports Medicine and Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. Slocum specializes in non-operative spine care, neck and back pain and interventional pain medicine.

3 p.m. – “Opioid pharmacology in historical perspective” by Keith Parker, a neurochemist and pharmacologist with special interests in the neurotransmitter serotonin. Parker has served on the faculty of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy at the University of Montana for 25 years.

3:50 p.m. – Break.

4 p.m. – “The Making of an Addict: The history of opioid use in the urban American West,” by Natalie Scheidler, who currently teaches at Black Hills State University and is involved in several projects as a freelance historian and writer. Scheidler’s research focuses on race, gender, sexuality and violence.

5 p.m. – Reception in the lobby of the Museum of the Rockies.

Cost: Free


This event is over.

Fri. Apr. 13, 2018   2-5pm

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Museum of the Rockies
600 West Kagy Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59717