The History of Medicine Collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University is accepting applications for our travel grant program. https://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/history-of-medicine/grants Research grants of up to $1,500 will be offered to researchers whose work would benefit from access to the historical medical collections at the Rubenstein Rare Book & […]


The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 as a United Nations agency to improve global health. In most of the world, life expectancy has improved since then, and was about 67 years as of 2010, and well above 80 years in some countries. Eradication of infectious diseases is an international effort, and several new vaccines have been developed during the post-war years, against infections such as measles, mumps, several strains of influenza and human papilloma virus. The long-known vaccine against Smallpox finally eradicated the disease in the 1970s, and Rinderpest was wiped out in 2011. Eradication of polio is underway. Tissue culture is important for development of vaccines. Though the early success of antiviral vaccines and antibacterial drugs, antiviral drugs were not introduced until the 1970s. Through the WHO, the international community has developed a response protocol against epidemics, displayed during the SARS epidemic in 2003, the Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 from 2004, the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and onwards.
She came to our recent Functional Forum in San Francisco and afterwards approached us with some great ideas about how we can make the Functional Forum more approachable for those with social anxiety.  If you've seen the forum, you know that Gabe and James are not introverted by any stretch of the imagination, so, it was great to learn from the experience of others.

^ Hayward, Rhodri (2011). "Medicine and the Mind". In Jackson, Mark. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine. Oxford University Press. pp. 524–42. ISBN 978-0199546497.; Scull, Andrew (2005). Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness And Society in Britain, 1700–1900. Yale University Press. pp. 324–28. ISBN 978-0300107548.; Dowbiggin, I. (1992). ""An exodus of enthusiasm": G. Alder Blumer, eugenics, and US psychiatry, 1890–1920". Medical History. 36 (4): 379–402. doi:10.1017/S002572730005568X. PMC 1036631. PMID 1435019.; Snelders, S.; Meijman, F.J.; Pieters, T. (2007). "Heredity and alcoholism in the medical sphere: The Netherlands, 1850–1900". Medical History. 51 (2): 219–36. doi:10.1017/S0025727300001204. PMC 1871693. PMID 17538696.; Turda, M. (2009). ""To end the degeneration of a nation": Debates on eugenic sterilization in inter-war Romania". Medical History. 53 (1): 77–104. doi:10.1017/S002572730000332X. PMC 2629178. PMID 19190750.


After the fall of Rome in the 5th century the eastern half of the Roman Empire continued (we know it as The Byzantine Empire) and later Muslims took their knowledge of medicine from there. In the 9th century a man named Hunain Ibn Ishaq traveled to Greece collecting Greek books. He then returned to Baghdad and translated them into Arabic. Later the same works were translated into Latin and passed back to western Europe.
Responding to a growing consumer movement, Congress passes two major pieces of legislation: the Wheeler-Lea Act, which allows the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute against companies whose advertising deceives and harms consumers; and the Copeland Bill, which expands the Food and Drug Administration's power to regulate drug and food safety, and extends its oversight to include cosmetics.

Being a king in ancient times was exhaustingly dangerous; there was always someone plotting to get rid of you. So, according to legend, Mithradates (aka Mithridates) VI of Pontus (on the shores of the Black Sea in Turkey) attempted to become resistant to poisons by taking gradually increasing doses. He was also reputed to have conducted toxicological experiments on condemned prisoners, culminating in the creation of mithridate – a medicine that combined all known antidotes in one potent formula.
Contemporary humans in developed countries are mostly free of parasites, particularly intestinal ones. This is largely due to frequent washing of clothing and the body, and improved sanitation. Although such hygiene can be very important when it comes to maintaining good health, it can be problematic for the proper development of the immune system. The hygiene hypothesis is that humans evolved to be dependent on certain microorganisms that help establish the immune system, and modern hygiene practices can prevent necessary exposure to these microorganisms. "Microorganisms and macroorganisms such as helminths from mud, animals, and feces play a critical role in driving immunoregulation" (Rook, 2012[26]). Essential microorganisms play a crucial role in building and training immune functions that fight off and repel some diseases, and protect against excessive inflammation, which has been implicated in several diseases. For instance, recent studies have found evidence supporting inflammation as a contributing factor in Alzheimer's Disease.[27]
The means of dressing the incision was also highly developed: the surgeon used seven polished iron spikes to bring the edges of the wound together, tying them in place with bark-cloth string. He then applied a thick layer of herbal paste and covered this with a warm banana leaf held in place with a bandage. According to Felkin’s account, the mother and her baby were still doing well when he left the village 11 days later.
The first medical schools were opened in the 9th century, most notably the Schola Medica Salernitana at Salerno in southern Italy. The cosmopolitan influences from Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew sources gave it an international reputation as the Hippocratic City. Students from wealthy families came for three years of preliminary studies and five of medical studies. The medicine, following the laws of Federico II, that he founded in 1224 the University ad improved the Schola Salernitana, in the period between 1200 and 1400, it had in Sicily (so-called Sicilian Middle Ages) a particular development so much to create a true school of Jewish medicine.[73]

Shocked that he wasn't learning more about lifestyle medicine in medical school, he chose to dive into learning integrative and functional medicine through podcasts, blogs,and other free resources along with his med school training. From his diligent self-teachings, Robert collected and created a resource for any practitioner/student interested in functional and integrative medicine for free. Anyone in any corner of the world in pursuit of more information around functional and integrative medicine can access this information absolutely free. Don't forget to share this with your colleagues and fellow med students.

In the Middle Ages monasteries had sanitation. Streams provided clean water. Dirty water was used to clear toilets, which were in a separate room. Monks also had a room called a laver where they washed their hands before meals. However for most people sanitation was non-existent. In castles the toilet was simply a long passage built into the thickness of the walls. Often it emptied into the castle moat. Despite the lack of public health many towns had public bath-houses were you could pay to have a bath.


1899 Felix Hoffman develops aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid). The juice from willow tree bark had been used as early as 400 BC to relieve pain. 19th century scientists knew that it was the salicylic acid in the willow that made it work, but it irritated the lining of the mouth and stomach. Hoffman synthesizes acetyl salicylic acid, developing what is now the most widely used medicine in the world.
A leading journal in its field for more than three quarters of a century, the Bulletin spans the social, cultural, and scientific aspects of the history of medicine worldwide. Every issue includes reviews of recent books on medical history. Recurring sections include Digital Media & Humanities and Pedagogy. Bulletin of the History of Medicine is the official publication of the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) and the Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine.
Dr. Hall shares what he was doing that wasn't working and how through his practice has evolved through working with Freedom Practice Coaching and the Evolution of Medicine programs. His journey includes learning new skills, getting comfortable speaking in front of people, and tracking his successes and how it has affected the delivery of care to his patients. 
James Maskell:  Yeah.  Well, obviously, you have, some of the ideas you talked about there are perfect I think. I just wrote a blog for The ZocDoc Blog about why doctors should curate their patient education.  And curating resources is much more efficient than just telling people stuff.  You don’t need people to do that, you just need to use the resources that are available.  And so actually, one of the ways that we designed this summit was that it would be almost like the perfect thing for a doctor to curate for their patient—because there is a patient track.  It’s going to basically teach the patient how to be a great patient and how to look after the four major modifiable causes of chronic disease: diet and stress, toxicity, immunity, and the microbiome.  These are all things that patients have the majority of control over.  This is not medicine that’s done to you.  And so, we were just—so that’s part of the track in the doctor track.  I think the curation of patient education can take a lot of the time out of the appointments, because you see one of the biggest things about functional medicine is that it takes a lot of time to do it, because you have to listen and so forth.  So that’s one of the things.  But like you said, technology can play a key role.  And we have doctors in the summit that are talking about how they’re using technology even in poorer, rural areas of the country, where they’re building community-orientated practices that serve a blue-collar type of patient, and it’s working.  And if it could work in rural Indiana, it can work anywhere.  And that’s really exciting.  You know, our vision for this, Chris, is just a nationwide network of remarkable community-orientated functional practices.  In the same ways you saw the natural response to Walmart was farmers’ markets—you know, going directly to the farmer and having that direct interaction—I think the natural reaction to big medicine is these small micropractices that deliver exceptional value to patients in local areas into the community.
Later in Roman times Galen (130-200 AD) became a famous doctor. At first he worked treating wounded gladiators. Then in 169 AD he was made doctor to Commodus, the Roman Emperor's son. Galen was also a writer and he wrote many books. Galen believed the theory of the four humors. He also believed in treating illness with opposites. So if a patient had a cold Galen gave him something hot like pepper. Galen was also interested in anatomy. Unfortunately by his time dissecting human bodies was forbidden. So Galen had to dissect animal bodies including apes. However animal bodies are not the same as human bodies and so some of Galen's ideas were quite wrong. Unfortunately Galen was a very influential writer. For centuries his writings dominated medicine.
One of the things that James learned last week is that he has “perfect detoxification pathways”, but not all people are so lucky. A huge topic of discussion on the upcoming Summit is MTHFR. Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase is the rate-limiting enzyme in the methyl cycle, and it is encoded by the MTHFR gene. This week we welcome Sterling Hill, the founder of MTHFRsupport.com. Sterling is an educator and having found out of her personal status and what it means for her - she has been educating others about the impact of MTHFR for years.
1870s Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch establish the germ theory of disease. According to germ theory, a specific disease is caused by a specific organism. Before this discovery, most doctors believe diseases are caused by spontaneous generation. In fact, doctors would perform autopsies on people who died of infectious diseases and then care for living patients without washing their hands, not realizing that they were therefore transmitting the disease.
Established by Congress in 1959 as the nation's highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science is a presidential award given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical or engineering sciences." In 1980, Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences.
The three branches of Egyptian medicine included use of internal and external medicines, using ingredients like onions, hippopotamus fat and fried mice. The Ebers Papyrus and others list treatments of the eye, skin and abdomen, also 21 cough treatments. Egyptian surgeons never opened the abdomen, but performed external operations such as lancing boils, cutting out cysts and circumcision, as well as dealing with wounds and fractures. Their surgical equipment included scalpels, knives, forceps and probes, as well as red-hot irons to cauterize wounds. The Edwin Smith Papyrus (1600 BCE) makes detailed observations of the head, nose, face, ears, neck, chest and spine, describing 42 examinations leading to surgery. Sorcerers used incantations and amulets to combat evil spirits.
This week on the Evolution ​of Medicine podcast, we are back with the fifth installment of the "State of the Evolution" with co-founders of the Evolution of Medicine, James Maskell and Gabe Hoffman.  Twice a year we look back at ground take-in the last six months and look forward to the next six. We're excited to share with you what's happened and what to expect during the first half of 2017.
Starting in World War II, DDT was used as insecticide to combat insect vectors carrying malaria, which was endemic in most tropical regions of the world.[178] The first goal was to protect soldiers, but it was widely adopted as a public health device. In Liberia, for example, the United States had large military operations during the war and the U.S. Public Health Service began the use of DDT for indoor residual spraying (IRS) and as a larvicide, with the goal of controlling malaria in Monrovia, the Liberian capital. In the early 1950s, the project was expanded to nearby villages. In 1953, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an antimalaria program in parts of Liberia as a pilot project to determine the feasibility of malaria eradication in tropical Africa. However these projects encountered a spate of difficulties that foreshadowed the general retreat from malaria eradication efforts across tropical Africa by the mid-1960s.[179]
The means of dressing the incision was also highly developed: the surgeon used seven polished iron spikes to bring the edges of the wound together, tying them in place with bark-cloth string. He then applied a thick layer of herbal paste and covered this with a warm banana leaf held in place with a bandage. According to Felkin’s account, the mother and her baby were still doing well when he left the village 11 days later.
Robert is not a doctor, and what he does is not strictly medicine, but he has created something called the Xpill.  It's not a supplement or a prescription, but it seems to have incredible powers to create transformational change.  It encompasses looking at placebo response, coaching, group structures, intention setting for patients - you'll find out why this is so interesting to the future of medicine in one of the most fascinating half hours of this podcast we've ever had!  
Furthermore during the 18th century a number of hospitals were founded. In 1724 Guys Hospital was founded with a bequest from a merchant named Thomas Guy. St Georges was founded in 1733 and Middlesex Hospital in 1745. Hospitals were also founded in Bristol in 1733, York in 1740, Exeter in 1741 and Liverpool in 1745. The first civilian hospital in America opened in Philadelphia in 1751. In the late 18th century and early 19th century dispensaries were founded in many towns. They were charities were the poor could obtain free medicines.
Japanese physicians immediately recognized the values of X-Rays. They were able to purchase the equipment locally from the Shimadzu Company, which developed, manufactured, marketed, and distributed X-Ray machines after 1900.[149] Japan not only adopted German methods of public health in the home islands, but implemented them in its colonies, especially Korea and Taiwan, and after 1931 in Manchuria.[150] A heavy investment in sanitation resulted in a dramatic increase of life expectancy.[151]
Around 800 BCE Homer in The Iliad gives descriptions of wound treatment by the two sons of Asklepios, the admirable physicians Podaleirius and Machaon and one acting doctor, Patroclus. Because Machaon is wounded and Podaleirius is in combat Eurypylus asks Patroclus to cut out this arrow from my thigh, wash off the blood with warm water and spread soothing ointment on the wound.[35] Asklepios like Imhotep becomes god of healing over time.
Due to the hot and dry climate in Egypt, ancient papyri have survived intact, allowing historians to study the sophisticated techniques employed by Ancient Egyptian physicians. Whilst couched in magic and ritual, the Egyptians possessed a great deal of knowledge of healing herbs and repairing physical injuries, amongst the normal population and the workers responsible for building the great monuments of that nation.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine, we continue our series featuring innovators in the Health Coach field. We welcome, Carey Peters with Health Coach Institute(formerly Holistic MBA). Carey and her business partner, Stacey,  have been in the field of health coaching for over a decade. They have dedicated themselves to the education and success of health coaches all over the country. 
3 Schwarz, Richard W. “John Harvey Kellogg, M.D.: Pioneering Health Reformer.” John Harvery Kellogg, M.D.: Pioneering Health Reformer – Richard W. Schwarz – Google Books. Google Books, 2006. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. .
After AD 400, the study and practice of medicine in the Western Roman Empire went into deep decline. Medical services were provided, especially for the poor, in the thousands of monastic hospitals that sprang up across Europe, but the care was rudimentary and mainly palliative.[69] Most of the writings of Galen and Hippocrates were lost to the West, with the summaries and compendia of St. Isidore of Seville being the primary channel for transmitting Greek medical ideas.[70] The Carolingian renaissance brought increased contact with Byzantium and a greater awareness of ancient medicine,[71] but only with the twelfth-century renaissance and the new translations coming from Muslim and Jewish sources in Spain, and the fifteenth-century flood of resources after the fall of Constantinople did the West fully recover its acquaintance with classical antiquity.
Chris Kresser:  It keeps directing our attention back to the simple things.  So in the example that you used, you know, we can bend over backwards trying to figure out how to address a certain pathogen or what combination of factors led to something happening.  But really, we know that taking care of our immune system means eating good food, managing our stress, getting plenty of sleep, and then the body really takes care of the rest.  But it’s when we go off the rails and stray from those fundamental factors that things really go haywire.  It’s like we have the capacity for health in our bodies at all times, and we have the capacity for disease in our bodies at all times.  Our role is how we create circumstances for health or disease to emerge from that incredibly complex interaction of factors that’s happening in our body at all times.  And I don’t mean that we’re not going to find out, you know, develop new, incredible, advanced therapies that can be helpful in more complex situations.  But even that won’t detract from the simplicity of it when it comes right down to it.
The operation, Felkin reported, was carried out with the intention of saving both lives. The mother was partially anaesthetised with banana wine. The surgeon also used this wine to wash the surgical site and his own hands, suggesting awareness of the need for infection control measures. He then made a vertical incision, going through the abdominal wall and part of the uterine wall, before further dividing the uterine wall enough to take the baby out. The operation also involved removing the placenta and squeezing the uterus to promote contraction.
Mac shares how Nudge Coach provides an efficient and effective way to better coaching and accountability for patients once they step out of the doctor's office. If you've been following us for awhile, you know that we have now moved from the term "compliance" to "empowerment".  In this podcast, we discuss the difference between the two terms and how we have evolved passed some of the old verbiage into a new relationship between the patient and practitioner. 

1867 Joseph Lister publishes Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery, one of the most important developments in medicine. Lister was convinced of the need for cleanliness in the operating room, a revolutionary idea at the time. He develops antiseptic surgical methods, using carbolic acid to clean wounds and surgical instruments. The immediate success of his methods leads to general adoption. In one hospital that adopts his methods, deaths from infection decrease from nearly 60% to just 4%.


Some 200 years later another doctor, Peseshet, was immortalised on a monument in the tomb of her son, Akhet-Hetep (aka Akhethetep), a high priest. Peseshet held the title ‘overseer of female physicians’, suggesting that women doctors weren’t just occasional one-offs. Peseshet herself was either one of them or a director responsible for their organisation and training.
A major breakthrough in epidemiology came with the introduction of statistical maps and graphs. They allowed careful analysis of seasonality issues in disease incidents, and the maps allowed public health officials to identify critical loci for the dissemination of disease. John Snow in London developed the methods. In 1849, he observed that the symptoms of cholera, which had already claimed around 500 lives within a month, were vomiting and diarrhoea. He concluded that the source of contamination must be through ingestion, rather than inhalation as was previously thought. It was this insight that resulted in the removal of The Pump On Broad Street, after which deaths from cholera plummeted afterwards. English nurse Florence Nightingale pioneered analysis of large amounts of statistical data, using graphs and tables, regarding the condition of thousands of patients in the Crimean War to evaluate the efficacy of hospital services. Her methods proved convincing and led to reforms in military and civilian hospitals, usually with the full support of the government.[138][139][140]
In spite of early scepticism, theriac took off as a prized (and expensive) cure-all. By the 12th century Venice was the leading exporter and the substance had a high profile in European, Arabic and Chinese medicine alike. Its fortunes waned after 1745, however, when William Heberden debunked its alleged efficacy and suggested that enterprising Romans had exaggerated the Mithradates story for their own gain.
After 1871 Berlin, the capital of the new German Empire, became a leading center for medical research. Robert Koch (1843–1910) was a representative leader. He became famous for isolating Bacillus anthracis (1877), the Tuberculosis bacillus (1882) and Vibrio cholerae (1883) and for his development of Koch's postulates. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905 for his tuberculosis findings. Koch is one of the founders of microbiology, inspiring such major figures as Paul Ehrlich and Gerhard Domagk.[127]
China also developed a large body of traditional medicine. Much of the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine derived from empirical observations of disease and illness by Taoist physicians and reflects the classical Chinese belief that individual human experiences express causative principles effective in the environment at all scales. These causative principles, whether material, essential, or mystical, correlate as the expression of the natural order of the universe.
Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that’s really exciting to me.  I think another frontier is lab testing.  I mean, that’s one of the, as a practitioner, that’s one of the things that troubles me the most, is how expensive these labs are.  And in a lot of cases, the insurance isn’t covering them because they don’t deem them to be medically necessary, which just makes me want to pull my hair out, because of course, you know, if we do these labs and we identify the underlying problems initially, we’re potentially heading off tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, in medical costs to the insurance company later on down the line.  So I guess it just depends on how you define medically necessary, but that’s a whole different discussion.  Some of these labs can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  So I know there are some pretty exciting, new movements out there to make this lab testing more affordable financially.  And then some of the tech tools that are becoming available, like the Quantified Self Revolution, that could really help in terms of not only gathering the necessary data, but organizing it and then presenting it back to the clinician in a way that makes sense and makes it easy for the clinician to track progress.  So I know this is an area of interest for both us, James.  Maybe you could talk a little bit about some of them, the more exciting technologies that you’ve seen, and that people have talked about in the summit.

The three branches of Egyptian medicine included use of internal and external medicines, using ingredients like onions, hippopotamus fat and fried mice. The Ebers Papyrus and others list treatments of the eye, skin and abdomen, also 21 cough treatments. Egyptian surgeons never opened the abdomen, but performed external operations such as lancing boils, cutting out cysts and circumcision, as well as dealing with wounds and fractures. Their surgical equipment included scalpels, knives, forceps and probes, as well as red-hot irons to cauterize wounds. The Edwin Smith Papyrus (1600 BCE) makes detailed observations of the head, nose, face, ears, neck, chest and spine, describing 42 examinations leading to surgery. Sorcerers used incantations and amulets to combat evil spirits.
The University of Padua was founded about 1220 by walkouts from the University of Bologna, and began teaching medicine in 1222. It played a leading role in the identification and treatment of diseases and ailments, specializing in autopsies and the inner workings of the body.[85] Starting in 1595, Padua's famous anatomical theatre drew artists and scientists studying the human body during public dissections. The intensive study of Galen led to critiques of Galen modeled on his own writing, as in the first book of Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica. Andreas Vesalius held the chair of Surgery and Anatomy (explicator chirurgiae) and in 1543 published his anatomical discoveries in De Humani Corporis Fabrica. He portrayed the human body as an interdependent system of organ groupings. The book triggered great public interest in dissections and caused many other European cities to establish anatomical theatres.[86]
1899	Felix Hoffman develops aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid). The juice from willow tree bark had been used as early as 400 BC to relieve pain. 19th century scientists knew that it was the salicylic acid in the willow that made it work, but it irritated the lining of the mouth and stomach. Hoffman synthesizes acetyl salicylic acid, developing what is now the most widely used medicine in the world.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries anthropologists studied primitive societies. Among them treatment for injury and sickness was a mixture of common sense and magic. People knew, of course, that falls cause broken bones and fire causes burns. Animal bites or human weapons cause wounds. Primitive people had simple treatments for these things e.g. Australian Aborigines covered broken arms in clay, which hardened in the hot sun. Cuts were covered with fat or clay and bound up with animal skins or bark. However primitive people had no idea what caused illness. They assumed it was caused by evil spirits or magic performed by an enemy. The 'cure' was magic to drive out the evil spirit or break the enemies spell.
This week, we feature the keynote presentation from the summit by Dr. Jeffrey Bland. You can get this talk and many other gifts by registering for the summit. In his talk, Dr. Jeffrey Bland shares his view of the current state of genetics. Even If you're not interested in genetic testing, we hope that you will take a few minutes and listen to the godfather of functional medicine, as he shares his thoughts on genomics and why it will be the catalyst for functional medicine to become the operating system for a new era of predictive preventative medicine.
×