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(STEM Nova award merit badge)
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{{Merit Badge header|Mammal Study|Metalwork}}
{{Merit Badge header|Mammal Study|Metalwork}}
{{STEM Nova award merit badge|[[Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award|Alvarez Supernova]] and [[Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award|Townes Supernova]]|s}}<br />
{{STEM Nova award merit badge|[[Dr. Bernard Harris Bronze Supernova Award|Harris Bronze Supernova]], and [[Thomas Edison Silver Supernova Award|Edison Silver Supernova]]|s}}<br />

Current revision

Resources include the Medicine merit badge worksheet Adobe Acrobat PDF, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.  Prev  -  Next  

Medicine merit badge requires prior counselor approval for requirement(s) #10.
The Medicine merit badge is an option for the Harris Bronze Supernova, and Edison Silver Supernova STEM Nova Awards.

Medicine merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1991
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 130
Requirements revision: 2018
Latest pamphlet revision: 2012


The practice of medicine has a rich history that spans several centuries. Since the first use of plants and other items as simple medicines and balms, many men and women have contributed to the advancement of the "healing arts."

Medicine merit badge requirements

  1. Discuss with your counselor the influence that EIGHT of the following people or events had on the history of health care:
    a. Hippocrates
    b. William Harvey
    c. Antoine van Leeuwenhoek
    d. Edward Jenner
    e. Florence Nightingale
    f. Louis Pasteur
    g. Gregor Mendel
    h. Joseph Lister
    i. Robert Koch
    j. Daniel Hale Williams
    k. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen
    l. Marie and Pierre Curie
    m. Walter Reed
    n. Karl Landsteiner
    o. Alexander Fleming
    p. Charles Richard Drew
    q. Helen Taussig
    r. James Watson and Francis Crick
    s. Jonas Salk
  2. Explain the Hippocratic Oath to your counselor, and compare to the original version to a more modern one. Discuss to whom those subscribing to the original version of the oath owe the greatest allegiance.
  3. Discuss the health-care provider-patient relationship with your counselor, and the importance of such a relationship in the delivery of quality care to the patient. Describe the role of confidentiality in this relationship.
  4. Do the following:
    a. Describe the roles the following people play in the delivery of health care in your state.
    1. Allopathic physician (M.D.) and Osteopathic physician (D.O.
    2. Chiropractor (D.C.)
    3. Emergency medical technician
    4. Licensed practical/vocational nurse
    5. Medical assistant
    6. Medical laboratory technologist
    7. Nurse-midwife
    8. Nurse practitioner
    9. Occupational therapist
    10. Optometrist
    11. Pharmacist
    12. Physical therapist
    13. Physician’s assistant
    14. Podiatrist
    15. Psychologist
    16. Radiologic technologist
    17. Registered nurse
    18. Respiratory therapist
    b. Describe the educational and licensing requirements to practice health care in your state for FIVE of the professions in requirement 4a. (Not all professions may exist in your state.)
  5. a. Tell what is meant by the term "primary care" with regard to a medical specialty.
    b. Briefly describe the types of work done by physicians in the following specialties:
    1. Internal medicine*
    2. Family practice*
    3. Obstetrics/gynecology*
    4. Pediatrics*
    5. Psychiatry
    6. Surgery
    c. Describe the additional educational requirements for these specialties.
  6. a. Briefly describe the types of work performed by physicians in FIVE of the following specialties or subspecialties:
    1. Allergy/immunology
    2. Anesthesiology
    3. Cardiology
    4. Colorectal surgery
    5. Critical care medicine (intensive care medicine)
    6 Dermatology
    7. Emergency Medicine
    8. Endocrinology
    9. Gastroenterology
    10. Geriatric medicine
    11. Hematology/oncology
    12. Hospitalist
    13. Infectious disease
    14. Nephrology
    15. Neuro surgery
    16. Neurology
    17. Nuclear medicine
    18. Ophthalmology
    19. Orthopedic surgery
    20. Otolaryngology/head and neck surgery
    21. Pathology
    22. Physical medicine and rehabilitation
    23. Plastic, reconstructive, and maxillofacial surgery.
    24. Preventive medicine
    25. Pulmonology
    26. Radiology
    27. Rheumatology
    28. Thoracic/cardiothoracic surgery
    29. Urology
    30. Vascular surgery
    b. Describe the additional educational requirements for the five specialties or subspecialties you chose in 6a.
  7. a. Visit a physician's office,** preferably one who delivers "primary care." (This may be that of your counselor.) Discuss the components of a medical history and physical examination (an official BSA health form may be used to guide this discussion), and become familiar with the instruments used.
    b. Describe the characteristics of a good diagnostic test to screen for disease (e.g. routine blood pressure measurement). Explain briefly why diagnostic tests are not perfect.
    c. Show how to take a blood pressure reading and a pulse reading.
  8. Do the following:
    a. Discuss the roles medical societies, the insurance industry, and the government play in influencing the practice of medicine in the United States.
    b. Briefly tell how your state monitors the quality of health care within its borders, and how it provides care to those who do not have health insurance.
  9. Compare and discuss with your counselor at least two types of health care delivery systems used throughout the world.
  10. Serve as a volunteer at a health-related event or facility in your community (e.g. blood drive, "health fair", blood pressure screening, etc.) approved by your counselor.

* "Primary care" specialties
** If this cannot be arranged, demonstrate to your counselor that you understand the components of a medical history and physical, and discuss the instruments involved.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Medicine is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Medicine requirements. has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks, Webelos workbooks,
Cub Scout workbooks, and Nova Award workbooks.
  1. The BSA Health Care Troop Program Feature offers meeting and activity plans to include Medicine as one of your monthly themes.

Requirement resources

The Troop Health Care Monthly Theme includes meeting and activity materials.

Related awards

Profession-related awards

See also

Boy Scout portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools