I've been doing a LOT of reading before I start med school this summer (the last chance I'll get to read for fun in a while I gather) and I've come to a weird realization when it comes to famous historical medical figures. Just about every single figure I've read about who has contributed greatly to the advance of medicine in the last 2000 years or so hasn't really been someone I'd even want to talk to. And no, Hippocrates doesn't count since he lived around 400BC. (Although he's credited with the 4 humor theory of medicine) Here's a short list: Galen: He supported the 4 humors theory and his anatomical texts were based on animals (and stated things like the heart had 3 ventricles, the liver had 5 lobes, and the spleen emptied into the stomach). These errors persisted for over 1500 years. Vesalius: He was an unrepentant grave robber. He is rumored to have wrestled with wild dogs in a graveyard at night for human bones to complete his human skeleton. When he couldn't get a partially-decomposed corpse to work on, he often did vivisections on animals (dissection of live animals without anesthetic). Paracelsus: He was extremely arrogant (the word bombastic comes from his middle name, Bombastus). He also believed that diseases came about from poisons from the stars. Harvey: Also an avid vivsectionist (over a 100 different types of animals). Osler: Although this one is harder to criticize, he believed that if you were a doctor, medicine should become your life and to heck with any personal life you may have (famously saying that a doctor's wife would be glad to sacrifice her share to support your work). There are numerous others I could cite as well. I suppose it isn't that hard to believe considering that modern anatomy was only really perpetuated in the 1800s, same for surgical anesthesia, x-rays didn't arrive until 1895 and penicillin didn't arrive until the 1940s. But since medicine is supposed to have a rich tradition steeped in the healing arts and all that, you'd think that we'd have more people that we could put on a wall and be truly proud of. Although there are a few nice guys in medical history, Leeuwenhoek and Jenner for example, they were more scientists than physicians. Without going into the considerable advances that medicine has made over the years (especially the last 100 years), does anyone know of a smart, compassionate, driven, well-rounded, and dare I say nice doctor that has changed medicine's paradigm for the better?