The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

Language: English

Pages: 184

ISBN: 019921543X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Against the backdrop of unprecedented concern for the future of health care, this Very Short Introduction surveys the history of medicine from classical times, through the scholastic medieval tradition and the Enlightenment to the present day. Taking a thematic rather than strictly chronological approach, W.F. Bynum, explores the key turning points in the history of Western medicine-such as the first surgical procedures, the advent of hospitals, the introduction of anesthesia, X-Rays, vaccinations, and many other innovations, as well as the rise of experimental medicine. The book also explores Western medicine's encounters with Chinese and Indian medicine, as well as nontraditional treatments such as homeopathy, chiropractic, and other alternative medicines. Covering a vast amount of information, this Very Short Introduction sheds new light on medicine's past, while at the same time engaging with contemporary issues, discoveries, and controversies, such as the spiraling costs of health care, lack of health insurance for millions, breakthrough treatments, and much more. For readers who wish to understand the how we have arrived at our current state of medical practice and knowledge, this book is essential reading.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

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have deferred to Galen, and in the ‘battle of the books’, that widespread debate covering all fields of natural knowledge about whether the ancients or the moderns know the most about the world we inhabit, anatomy was one field in which the moderns won hands-down. The History of Medicine have named the Scientific Revolution, which influenced medicine as well as astronomy, cosmology, physics, and other sciences. The two natural sciences that most closely impinged on medicine were chemistry and

parts of Africa, AIDS is a disease commonly transmitted by heterosexual intercourse, and the incidence of individuals who are HIV-positive, as well as those suffering from the full-blown syndrome, is overwhelming. Treatment is expensive and in any case requires a healthcare infrastructure that is simply missing in most of the continent. Along with malaria and tuberculosis, AIDS has dominated the international health scene for the past couple of decades. All three diseases have strains that resist

phlegm with the brain, blood with the heart, yellow bile with the liver, and black bile with the spleen. Further, in the surgical treatises of the Hippocratic writings, these doctors also discussed the setting of fractures, reduction of dislocated joints, wound treatment, and simple operations for various specific conditions. Surgical work, then as now, requires a much more focused orientation on a particular area of the body. But Hippocratic medicine remained holistic and preoccupied with

William Coleman and Frederic Lawrence Holmes (eds), The Investigative Enterprise: Experimental Physiology in Nineteenth-Century Medicine (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988). An outstanding collection of essays on experimental physiology and its relevance for medical practice. Patrice Debré, Louis Pasteur, tr. Elborg Forster (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998). A full biography of Pasteur, sympathetic but not uncritical. Henry Harris, The Birth of the Cell (New Haven and

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION Khalid Koser INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Paul Wilkinson ISLAM Malise Ruthven JOURNALISM Ian Hargreaves JUDAISM Norman Solomon JUNG Anthony Stevens KABBALAH Joseph Dan KAFKA Ritchie Robertson KANT Roger Scruton KIERKEGAARD Patrick Gardiner THE KORAN Michael Cook LAW Raymond Wacks LINGUISTICS Peter Matthews LITERARY THEORY Jonathan Culler LOCKE John Dunn LOGIC Graham Priest MACHIAVELLI Quentin Skinner THE MARQUIS DE SADE John Phillips MARX Peter Singer MATHEMATICS Timothy Gowers

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