The Romans were also skilled engineers and they created a system of public health. The Romans noticed that people who lived near swamps often died of malaria. They did not know that mosquitoes in the swamps carried disease but they drained the swamps anyway. The Romans also knew that dirt encourages disease and they appreciated the importance of cleanliness. They built aqueducts to bring clean water into towns. They also knew that sewage encourages disease. The Romans built public lavatories in their towns. Streams running underneath them carried away sewage.
The roots of modern medicine are in ancient Greece. On the one hand most Greeks believed in a god of healing called Asclepius. People who were ill made sacrifices or offerings to the god. They then slept overnight in his temple. They believed that the god would visit them in their sleep (i.e. in their dreams) and when they woke up they would be healed.
But the most impactful change to the old system is the transition to patient-centered diagnoses. Medicine evolving from a doctor-centered structure to a patient-centered structure and this reflects Dr. Galland's unique contribution to the operating system. In this podcast, Dr. Galland addresses how this new model was developed and why it's such an important part of the evolution of medicine.
Unwritten history is not easy to interpret, and, although much may be learned from a study of the drawings, bony remains, and surgical tools of early humans, it is difficult to reconstruct their mental attitude toward the problems of disease and death. It seems probable that, as soon as they reached the stage of reasoning, they discovered by the process of trial and error which plants might be used as foods, which of them were poisonous, and which of them had some medicinal value. Folk medicine or domestic medicine, consisting largely in the use of vegetable products, or herbs, originated in this fashion and still persists.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships, awarded since 1981 and popularly known as the "Genius Award," provide unrestricted grants (currently $500,000) to individuals in the arts, sciences, humanities, education, business and other fi elds who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative endeavors and a clear capacity for future achievements.
In the Spanish Empire, the viceregal capital of Mexico City was a site of medical training for physicians and the creation of hospitals. Epidemic disease had decimated indigenous populations starting with the early sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, when a black auxiliary in the armed forces of conqueror Hernán Cortés, with an active case of smallpox, set off a virgin land epidemic among indigenous peoples, Spanish allies and enemies alike. Aztec emperor Cuitlahuac died of smallpox. Disease was a significant factor in the Spanish conquest elsewhere as well.
1950s: A series of successful anti-psychotic drugs are introduced that do not cure psychosis but control its symptoms. The first of the anti-psychotics, the major class of drug used to treat psychosis, is discovered in France in 1952 and is named chlorpromazine (Thorazine). Studies show that 70 percent of patients with schizophrenia clearly improve on anti-psychotic drugs.
During the 18th century medicine made slow progress. Doctors still did not know what caused disease. Some continued to believe in the four humors (although this theory declined during the 18th century). Other doctors thought disease was caused by 'miasmas' (odorless gases in the air). However surgery did make some progress. The famous 18th century surgeon John Hunter (1728-1793) is sometimes called the Father of Modern Surgery. He invented new procedures such as tracheotomy.
510-430 BC - Alcmaeon of Croton scientific anatomic dissections. He studied the optic nerves and the brain, arguing that the brain was the seat of the senses and intelligence. He distinguished veins from the arteries and had at least vague understanding of the circulation of the blood. Variously described by modern scholars as Father of Anatomy; Father of Physiology; Father of Embryology; Father of Psychology; Creator of Psychiatry; Founder of Gynecology; and as the Father of Medicine itself. There is little evidence to support the claims but he is, nonetheless, important.
Susruta, the founding father of Indian medicine, establishes a tradition later enshrined in a classic text, the Susrutasamhita. He identifies 1120 diseases, lists 760 medicinal drugs, and says that the surgeon's equipment amounts to 20 sharp instruments (including knives, scissors, saws and needles) and 101 blunt ones (such as forceps, tubes, levers, hooks and probes).
James Maskell: Yeah. So we have a couple of people speaking about tech. Specifically, Stephanie Tilenius, she’s written a lot for Forbes. And she’s high up at one of the biggest VC companies in Silicon Valley. She really spoke about a number of the things that you’ve spoken about there, wearables. I don’t know if you’ve seen in the US Open now, they have all the ball boys wearing the wearables, so that’s really expanding the interest. Dr. Robin Berzin, who was with me on The Huffington Post the other day talking about tech. She’s really talking about it from a patient’s perspective. I think, I’m sure you’ve seen this, Chris, but I think just for men; men need different incentives to take care of themselves. Women are generally better at it. They are generally better at taking care of themselves and feeling problems before they come up and get serious. Whereas men tend to wait until the very last moment, until there’s literally no other option apart from going to the doctor’s office. And so I think what’s really cool is that, for men, obviously we’re going to have these touch points. Medicine’s going to have these touch points to be able to catch things before they get really bad. And then on the other side of it, you have things that I find, that I’m quite competitive. I want to get competitive with my friend who’s in Iceland and who has a Fitbit, and he’s doing 120,000 steps a week, and he’s challenging me to do it, and we’re going back and forth. There’s some of the gamification aspect. There’s this really cool app called GymPact, which I’ve been following since I saw them at South by Southwest. And in that, you sort of put money, you bet on yourself to do your run, or to go to the gym, or to eat the right food. You bet on it. And everyone puts all their money in and the people that do what they say they’re going to do get paid out by the people that don’t. And so if it was going to give you $5 or $10 to actually go to the gym, there’s extra incentive that might be the next thing that gets the next generation of men to really be proactive with their health. What I think is cool and interesting is that at the moment, there’s a lot of apps that are being made by healthy 30-year-olds for other healthy 30-year-olds, which is probably not going to solve medicine’s biggest problems right now, but at least there’s starting to be iteration. And the most exciting thing is that once the iWatch comes out, in the same way that you saw the iPhone, the biggest apps—things like Instagram and Snapchat—where people are innovating on top of a hardware platform for software, just think about all of those people out there that are going to want to build apps for the iWatch. And what you actually have is the concentrated intention of way more people around the world looking for ways to engage people in being healthy. And that is exciting by itself.
Medicine embraced skills such as acupuncture, obstetrics, dentistry, laryngology, ophthalmology, and treatment of rheumatism and paralysis. The demand for improved technology, aided by certain concerns of the Neo-Confucian philosophy, helped to promote numerous investigations that approached the use of scientific methods. Literacy spread with printing,…
The Evolution of Medicine provides step-by-step instruction for building a successful "community micropractice," one that engages both the patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership focused on the body as a whole rather than isolated symptoms. This invaluable handbook will awaken health professionals to exciting new career possibilities. At the same time, it will alleviate the fear of abandoning a conventional medical system that is bad for doctors, patients, and payers, as well as being ineffectual in the treatment of chronic ailments.
Until the nineteenth century, the care of the insane was largely a communal and family responsibility rather than a medical one. The vast majority of the mentally ill were treated in domestic contexts with only the most unmanageable or burdensome likely to be institutionally confined. This situation was transformed radically from the late eighteenth century as, amid changing cultural conceptions of madness, a new-found optimism in the curability of insanity within the asylum setting emerged. Increasingly, lunacy was perceived less as a physiological condition than as a mental and moral one to which the correct response was persuasion, aimed at inculcating internal restraint, rather than external coercion. This new therapeutic sensibility, referred to as moral treatment, was epitomised in French physician Philippe Pinel's quasi-mythological unchaining of the lunatics of the Bicêtre Hospital in Paris and realised in an institutional setting with the foundation in 1796 of the Quaker-run York Retreat in England.
In Britain, there were but three small hospitals after 1550. Pelling and Webster estimate that in London in the 1580 to 1600 period, out of a population of nearly 200,000 people, there were about 500 medical practitioners. Nurses and midwives are not included. There were about 50 physicians, 100 licensed surgeons, 100 apothecaries, and 250 additional unlicensed practitioners. In the last category about 25% were women. All across Britain—and indeed all of the world—the vast majority of the people in city, town or countryside depended for medical care on local amateurs with no professional training but with a reputation as wise healers who could diagnose problems and advise sick people what to do—and perhaps set broken bones, pull a tooth, give some traditional herbs or brews or perform a little magic to cure what ailed them.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we are excited to welcome Qigong master Mingtong Gu, recorded live from his center in New Mexico with Evolution of Medicine co-founder Gabe Hoffman. Gabe has been studying Wisdom Healing Qigong with Mingtong since finding his high-quality content on YouTube two years ago. Since then Gabe learned of the extremely successful Medicineless Qigong Hospital in China, where Wisdom Healing Qigong is the only tool used. Gabe recently returned from a month-long retreat, led by Mingtong, where people with all types of chronic disease used the same protocols as the hospital in China with great success.