Past AMS History of Medicine Postdoc Fellow Publishes: The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy

Dr. Matthew Oram, 2015 AMS History of Healthcare Postdoctoral Fellow has now published his AMS supported book “The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy: LSD Psychotherapy in the United States, 1949-1976.”


In The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy, Matthew Oram traces the early promise and eventual demise of LSD psychotherapy in the United States. While the common perception is that LSD’s prohibition terminated legitimate research, Oram draws on files from the Food and Drug Administration and the personal papers of LSD researchers to reveal that the most significant issue was not the drug’s illegality, but the persistent question of its efficacy. The landmark Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments of 1962 installed strict standards for efficacy evaluation, which LSD researchers struggled to meet due to the unorthodox nature of their treatment.


Dr.  Oram is a historian in Christchurch, New Zealand. He earned his PhD in history from the University of Sydney. “My AMS Fellowship was critical to my completion of this work, and my experience in Canada was immensely valuable.”  says Dr. Oram. “Thank you to AMS for its generous funding that made this book possible!”.

The book is available for purchase through Johns Hopkins University Press.

AMS is a charitable organization with more than eighty years of funding History of Medicine and Healthcare initiatives such as grants, fellowships, studentships and the prestigious Hannah Chairs at 8 Schools of Medicine in Canada.