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History of Medicine- Anyone else interested?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DropkickMurphy, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. DropkickMurphy

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    One of my interests is in the historical aspects of medicine and I was wondering if anyone else among the premeds on SDN had a similar interest. If so, what aspects of it interest you?
     
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  3. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    Well I dont have a keen sense of the history of medicine yet, but I just wanted to interject that I picked up a new hobbie last year- and is to collect really old (pre1800s and some early 1800s) medical texts. Its just interesting to see how things have changed since then
     
  4. jsnuka

    jsnuka Senior Member
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    Civil War Medicine
     
  5. nichtmeinbier

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    anesthetics/civil war (amputations)
     
  6. DropkickMurphy

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    What in particular about Civil War medicine interests you?
     
  7. Phishfood

    Phishfood Junior Member
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    I absolutely love medical history, but I really know very little about it. It's a hobby I am trying to pick up and cultivate, and I have been looking around for a first edition Grey's to no avail. If any of you have recommended reading I would love suggestions, and would like to know where braluk finds his tomes.
     
  8. spicedmanna

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    I've only done so in passing, but I think Sir William Osler is a physician-author worth checking out. Hans Seyle is also worth looking into.
     
  9. jsnuka

    jsnuka Senior Member
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  10. TennisGuju

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    Anyone interested in the creation of field of neurosurgery: Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery by Michael Bliss.
     
  11. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    I know I don't know enough about Galen and Hippocrates et al, and it's interesting to me to know what they had to go through to learn what they learned. Unearthing corpses, fighting excommunication, that kind of thing. I read maybe half of Nuland's "Doctors" book (his prose is SOOOOOOOOO DULLLLLLLLLLLL).

    I got turned onto Rudolf Virchow via Paul Farmer's books, and although dense and translated, it feels like essential medical philosophy. DKM you'll hate Virchow's focus on humanitarianism, and doctors as advocates for the poor, but that's very much my deal here.

    I liked Laurie Garrett's books on public health and infectious disease, and through these I got turned onto Osler, and NYC's history of public health initiatives.

    I don't think I'd get terribly interested in more scholarly works in medical history. But if somebody like Jared Diamond wrote about it, I'd be all over it.
     
  12. oldbearprofessor

    Administrator Rocket Scientist Physician Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Well, I'm not a premed exactly, but I hope you'll let me respond with this link

    http://www.neonatology.org/classics/default.html

    The original articles are linked to this site. Lots of interesting history there.

    My personal area of interest is "ancient" neonatology, especially as related to Biblical times. I've even published, along with my wife, some things about the topic.

    I'll put a few sample things on the neonatology private forum over the next few weeks...(how's that for advertising the private forum!)

    OBP
     
  13. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4
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    I LOVE history of medicine. Actually I'm thinking about doing a PhD in it (MD/PhD program but the PhD in history of medicine) So far I've done research on public health policies to combat the spread of syphilis in Victorian England, and also on an anti-cancer drug introduced in the 1950's called Krebiozen - this research I am working on publishing right now. Glad to see I'm not the only one with an interest!
     
  14. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    I mainly go through some of the older bookstores that are just barely making it- you know- those old bookstores no one goes to because Barnes and Noble is down the street. I also tend to check out some garage sales (esp book ones) to see what I can dig out. Sometimes libraries have book sales as well. Also, ebat tends to be a huge source of these kinds of books- old antiquarian books you'll have a hard time finding anywhere else. Ive found a few gems in the old bookstores- including an edition (I believe) Grey's printed sometime in the 1800s. I have some old Mayo brothers texts as well and a variety of old physiology monographs- interesting reads- it just reeks of history (and other interesting smells as well ;) )
     
  15. DropkickMurphy

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    If you have copies of those articles, I would love to read them if I could get the chance. :thumbup:
     
  16. DropkickMurphy

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    I'm actually toying around with an idea about a journal article about the social effects of the Black Death upon Europe.
     
  17. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    Isnt the song, "ring around the rosie" inspired and sung by children during the black death?
     
  18. OncoCaP

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    I enjoyed reading about the transition to modern medicine in this book:

    The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (Paperback)
    by John M. Barry (Author)
     
  19. spicedmanna

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    If you are interested in the psychiatric side of things, Michel Foucault in his book "Madness and Civilization" presents an interesting look at madness and mental illness.
     
  20. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4
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    Yes the "rosie" is the bubo (inflammed lymph node) that victim of a certain type of the plague got. The posey talked about in the sound refers to the flowers that people caried around to ward off the disease they believed was carried by miasma (foul vapors).
     
  21. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    That is an excellent read- Ive used that for several papers in anthropology and is interesting in general for philosophy purposes
     
  22. DropkickMurphy

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    I actually have no problem with humanitarianism. I have a problem with pseudo-humanitarianism and with those who waste resources combating problems that are beyond repair. All I ask is for a little less bravado and a little more realism in our humanitarianism.
     
  23. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    Does "ashes to ashes we all fall down", refer to the burning of bodies after passing away to prevent the spread of the disease or is this symbolic for death?
     
  24. DropkickMurphy

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    There are some historians who actually have questioned that, but the veracity of their arguments are up for debate.
     
  25. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4
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    You would have to come up with a pretty unique perspective or some new documents for such an article becuase the black death has sort of been beat to death.
     
  26. oldbearprofessor

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    Wiki says no....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_a_Ring_O'Roses

    although I always thought it was.

    Will look up some of my ancient neonatology stuff over time.
     
  27. DropkickMurphy

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    Or the burning of Jews and other scapegoats....... ;)
     
  28. msundi83

    msundi83 Chilled Out Entertainer
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    I took a class called History of Western Medicine that was taught by my A&P professor. Its was amazing. We learned about everything. I thought the Anatomical Revolution was really interesting. When Galen's accepted model began to come under fire.
     
  29. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    Thank you wikipedia! I think wikipedia belongs somewhere on my diploma :laugh:
     
  30. DropkickMurphy

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    Point taken.....does anyone have a more interesting idea for an article? We could collaborate on it.
     
  31. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4
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    I found my last idea for an article by doing a general search on the New York Times database - they have articles going back to the 1800's that you can access through your school library website. I think I just typed in "cancer controversy".
     
  32. oldbearprofessor

    Administrator Rocket Scientist Physician Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    http://inventors.about.com/od/bstartinventors/a/Forrest_Bird.htm

    might be an idea from a respiratory care perspective. The history of mechanical ventilation is really quite interesting if you want something modern.

    I was trained on Babybird's. They saved thousands of lives. They are still in use in some poorer countries and still save lives.
     
  33. DropkickMurphy

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    That's actually a pretty interesting idea. Anyone else interested in pursuing that?
     
  34. OncoCaP

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    Sure, put me down as a potential "helper" on your article.
     
  35. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    charles rosenberg has written good stuff on cholera in the u.s. and 19th century hospitals. david rosner has written a good early history on hospitals in nyc, and morris vogel did the same on hospitals in boston. rosemary stevens has a good book on 20th century u.s. hospitals.
     
  36. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member
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    I had an undergrad class about the history of medicine taught by this really amazing MD, it was one of the best classes I took. I loved learning about all the weird things that people had thought over the years, about the freaky origins of surgery without anesthetics etc. Really interesting stuff.
     
  37. kidthor

    kidthor meep
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    I'm definitely interested in medical history. Of particular interest to me is the fairly recent history of the development of PAs, NPs, and CRNAs.
     
  38. greg1184

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    I am currently taking a History of Medicine class at UM. It is taught by Dr. Mary Lindemann. Great course so far. It gives another perspective of medicine and its history.
     
  39. MiesVanDerMom

    MiesVanDerMom D.o. or Die
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    I used to be an historian in another life. As far as medical history goes, my biggest interest was the creation of modern medicine at the beginning of the Modern Era (1500 and 1600s). I studied the witch trials. Most people think the witches were burned by the Catholic Church but the vast majority were burned by the Protestants for a variety of practical reasons. One such reason was to get rid of midwives and women healers. Another was the creation of the modern legal system, but that's another post altogether. Modern day Obstetrics really has the most awful beginnings to it. Of course, it's not so wonderful now either. Science and medicine have a really nasty history. Newton said something to the effect of, we must rape and torture the Earth to make her yeild her secrets like we do a witch. Niiiiiice. Now I know why so many science profs are d****. Haha. I think the fact that it's Dropkick that started this thread that's causing me to be unnecessarily nasty tonight.

    My main area of research was deindustrialization. Part of that included some medical issues like the mental health problems that result from the economic breakdown of communities.

    Man, this is making me miss my old history days. I'm gonna go read some Zinn. But not Fouccault. That man was all kins of messed up....
     
  40. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
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    we actually have a class on history of medicine in our school. it's pretty much a free A.
     
  41. amish42

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    If anyone has access to the Lancet's (the British medical journal) online database, you can do some pretty interesting research on the beginnings of treatment for shell-shock, depression, and other war-related conditions stemming from World War I :)
     
  42. Falco2525

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    My SO...is actually getting her PhD in History with her focus on medicine...she is interested in history in colonial america
     
  43. zeff

    zeff Kikey McGuido
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    I've read three books about the Spanish Flu epidemic in the past year or so--I don't know why, but I am fascinated by the story and how little could be done--in the twentieth century!--to curb the spread
     
  44. DropkickMurphy

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    Sounds like we should recruit you to help on any history projects! :laugh: The only issue with a mechanical ventilation article could be potentially finding references and such things......

    BTW, if that's nasty.....wow...... :thumbup:
     
  45. oldbearprofessor

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    Is there any chance you or one of your buddies could find an old Babybird stuck in a hospital "attic" somewhere? At least find one of your "mature" colleagues and ask them about how you figured out rate and insp time on one of them (think stopwatches!!).

    The associated history of interest is that of the "iron lung" used for polio patients. Negative pressure ventilation is still occasionally discussed and is a nice history piece. You can probably find some iron lungs around.
     
  46. Skelfie

    Skelfie Resident Absurdist
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    Yay! Me too! Except my specialty was medieval medicine. I wrote my dissertation about medieval infertility treatises. I sort of miss those days sometimes (but don't miss the translating obscure medieval medical Latin phrases part...).
     
  47. DropkickMurphy

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    Trust me, I've got every RT I know scrounging for vents (and other equipment) for that project we discussed via e-mail. If I find a Babybird, suffice to say you will be one of the first to know. I did manage to find a few used glucometers and a bunch of test strips if you know of any facility that could use them.
     
  48. DropkickMurphy

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    Interderum feror cupidinae partium magnarum Europae vincendarum (or something like that.....it's been almost 10 years since I've had Latin)
     
  49. radiologydoctor

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    I bet non of your know that trephining is still practiced in some African tribes. What is trephining you say? It deals with drilling a hole in the skull to release "evil spirits" that were trapped inside the head causing abnormal behavior.

    The history of medicine isn't really exciting at all. It mostly deals with not giving people medication they deserve (the government keeping blacks from getting medications....remember what took place in Alabama many years ago), developing stirel procedures, cutting people open with no anesthesia, and so forth. If you took a history of science course you would have learned all of the major advances in medicine and science. Yes the history of medicine can fit into an easy 3 credit course...don't kid yourself thinking that the history of medicine is complicated.

    The biggest change from pre-historic times to the present deals with how we look at psychological disorders. Heck, even today a good portion of doctors are still scared to work with psychological disorders.
     
  50. i'm the map

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    if you really want to study the history of medicine, here are two foundational pieces you've gotta read:

    Rosenberg, Charles. “Framing disease: illness, society, and history,” Framing Disease. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1992.
    - describes what a culture must do to turn a physical or mental abnormality into a disease worthy of treatment by its medical institutions.

    Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Structure_of_Scientific_Revolutions
    - the history of science condensed into 57 paradigms. the downside is that it covers mostly physical sciences as its subject matter.
     
  51. morganlefay

    morganlefay hanging in there
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    absolutely LOVE history of medicine... esp. as it appears in english renaissance lit. i.e. shakespeare, moliere (ok that's french, but roll with it), john donne, the like.

    big reason why i applied to penn state (they have an integrated dept of humanities) .... also a big reason why i'm looking to possibly defer med school and study the field in england for a year, dependent on getting british funding first, though. we shall see.

    glad to see others who are into it! :D
     

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