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.

Greek historian Herodotus stated that every Babylonian was an amateur physician, since it was the custom to lay the sick in the street so that anyone passing by might offer advice. Divination, from the inspection of the liver of a sacrificed animal, was widely practiced to foretell the course of a disease. Little else is known regarding Babylonian medicine, and the name of not a single physician has survived.
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.
Mental illnesses were well known in ancient Mesopotamia,[17] where diseases and mental disorders were believed to be caused by specific deities.[6] Because hands symbolized control over a person, mental illnesses were known as "hands" of certain deities.[6] One psychological illness was known as Qāt Ištar, meaning "Hand of Ishtar".[6] Others were known as "Hand of Shamash", "Hand of the Ghost", and "Hand of the God".[6] Descriptions of these illnesses, however, are so vague that it is usually impossible to determine which illnesses they correspond to in modern terminology.[6] Mesopotamian doctors kept detailed record of their patients' hallucinations and assigned spiritual meanings to them.[17] A patient who hallucinated that he was seeing a dog was predicted to die;[17] whereas, if he saw a gazelle, he would recover.[17] The royal family of Elam was notorious for its members frequently suffering from insanity.[17] Erectile dysfunction was recognized as being rooted in psychological problems.[17]
Ayurveda, meaning the "complete knowledge for long life" is another medical system of India. Its two most famous texts belong to the schools of Charaka and Sushruta. The earliest foundations of Ayurveda were built on a synthesis of traditional herbal practices together with a massive addition of theoretical conceptualizations, new nosologies and new therapies dating from about 600 BCE onwards, and coming out of the communities of thinkers who included the Buddha and others.[27]
^ Jump up to: a b Askitopoulou, H.; Konsolaki, E.; Ramoutsaki, I.; Anastassaki, E. (2002). Surgical cures by sleep induction as the Asclepieion of Epidaurus. The history of anesthesia: proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium, by José Carlos Diz, Avelino Franco, Douglas R. Bacon, J. Rupreht, Julián Alvarez. Elsevier Science B.V., International Congress Series 1242. pp. 11–17. ISBN 978-0444512932.
Later Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) proved that microscopic organisms caused disease. In the early 19th century many scientists believed in spontaneous generation i.e. that some living things spontaneously grew from non-living matter. In a series of experiments between 1857 and 1863 Pasteur proved this was not so. Once doctors knew what caused disease they made rapid headway in finding cures or prevention.
In East Semitic cultures, the main medicinal authority was a kind of exorcist-healer known as an āšipu.[8][9][10] The profession was generally passed down from father to son[8] and was held in extremely high regard.[8] Of less frequent recourse was another kind of healer known as an asu, who corresponds more closely to a modern physician[7] and treated physical symptoms using primarily folk remedies composed of various herbs, animal products, and minerals, as well as potions, enemas, and ointments or poultices.[7] These physicians, who could be either male or female, also dressed wounds, set limbs, and performed simple surgeries.[7] The ancient Mesopotamians also practiced prophylaxis[7] and took measures to prevent the spread of disease.[7]
Because of the social custom that men and women should not be near to one another, the women of China were reluctant to be treated by male doctors. The missionaries sent women doctors such as Dr. Mary Hannah Fulton (1854–1927). Supported by the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church (US) she in 1902 founded the first medical college for women in China, the Hackett Medical College for Women, in Guangzhou.[34]
Finally in the 19th century, Western medicine was introduced at the local level by Christian medical missionaries from the London Missionary Society (Britain), the Methodist Church (Britain) and the Presbyterian Church (US). Benjamin Hobson (1816–1873) in 1839, set up a highly successful Wai Ai Clinic in Guangzhou, China.[33] The Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese was founded in 1887 by the London Missionary Society, with its first graduate (in 1892) being Sun Yat-sen, who later led the Chinese Revolution (1911). The Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese was the forerunner of the School of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, which started in 1911.
The Department of the History of Medicine is the oldest such academic department in North America. We are dedicated to scholarship in the history of medicine, disease and the health sciences, and their relation to society. The Department seeks to bring historical perspectives to bear on contemporary health issues. Faculty members conduct research on a broad range of topics, time periods, and geographic areas. The Department offers a PhD in the History of Medicine.
Medieval doctors also prescribed laxatives for purging. Enemas were given with a greased tube attached to a pigs bladder. Doctors also prescribed baths in scented water. They also used salves and ointments and not just for skin complaints. Doctors believed it was important when treating many illnesses to prevent heat or moisture escaping from the affected part of the body and they believed that ointments would do that.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast we welcome Dr. Michel Dupuis, a chiropractor from northern Ontario. Dr. Dupuis shares the story of his journey to building a successful Functional Medicine practice.  We could not be happier to hear from a doctor whose story illustrates the power of implementing the solutions offered in not only our programs but also the resources that we've been recommending for the past few years.
In 1880 Pasteur and a team of coworkers searched for a cure for chicken cholera. Pasteur and his team grew germs in a sterile broth. Pasteur told a coworker to inject chickens with the germ culture. However the man forgot and went on holiday. The germs were left exposed to the air. Finally, when he returned the man injected chickens with the broth. However they did not die. So they were injected with a fresh culture. Still they did not die.
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.[101] 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.
The Nightingale model was widely copied. Linda Richards (1841–1930) studied in London and became the first professionally trained American nurse. She established nursing training programs in the United States and Japan, and created the first system for keeping individual medical records for hospitalized patients.[121] The Russian Orthodox Church sponsored seven orders of nursing sisters in the late 19th century. They ran hospitals, clinics, almshouses, pharmacies, and shelters as well as training schools for nurses. In the Soviet era (1917–1991), with the aristocratic sponsors gone, nursing became a low-prestige occupation based in poorly maintained hospitals.[122]
At the same time Greek doctors developed a rational theory of disease and sought cures. However one did not replace the other. The cult of Asclepius and Greek medicine existed side by side. Medical schools were formed in Greece and in Greek colonies around the Mediterranean. As early as 500 BC a man named Alcmaeon from Croton in Italy said that a body was healthy if it had the right balance of hot and cold, wet and dry. It the balance was upset the body grew ill. However the most famous Greek doctor is Hippocrates (C.460-377 BC). (Although historians now believe that he was much less famous in his own time that was once thought. It is believed that many of the medical books ascribed to him were actually written by other men). Hippocrates stressed that doctors should carefully observe the patients symptoms and take note of them. Hippocrates also rejected all magic and he believed in herbal remedies.
Across Europe medical schools relied primarily on lectures and readings. The final year student would have limited clinical experience by trailing the professor through the wards. Laboratory work was uncommon, and dissections were rarely done because of legal restrictions on cadavers. Most schools were small, and only Edinburgh, Scotland, with 11,000 alumni, produced large numbers of graduates.[99][100]

During the 16th century there were some improvements in medicine. However it remained basically the same as in the Middle Ages. Medicine was still dominated by the theory of the four humors. In 1546 a man Girolamo Fracastoro published a book called On Contagion. He suggested that infectious diseases were caused by 'disease seeds', which were carried by the wind or transmitted by touch. Unfortunately there was no way of testing his theory.
^ Jump up to: a b Askitopoulou, H.; Konsolaki, E.; Ramoutsaki, I.; Anastassaki, E. (2002). Surgical cures by sleep induction as the Asclepieion of Epidaurus. The history of anesthesia: proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium, by José Carlos Diz, Avelino Franco, Douglas R. Bacon, J. Rupreht, Julián Alvarez. Elsevier Science B.V., International Congress Series 1242. pp. 11–17. ISBN 978-0444512932.
It didn’t work against Roman armies, however, and when Mithradates was defeated by the military leader Pompey in 66 BC, the recipe supposedly arrived in Rome. Emperor Nero’s physician Andromachus developed it into a 64-ingredient composition, which became known as theriac. Most of the ingredients were botanical (including opium), but viper’s flesh was a notable component.
This week NDNR.com launched its first Online Summit on Cancer Prevention and we couldn't be more excited to partner with them. If we truly want to be successful in cancer prevention, some of the underlying foundations of Naturopathic Medicine, like the "Therapeutic Order" are a key part of an optimal plan. We welcome their founder and publisher Razi Berry for a great discussion relevant to any practitioner in integrative, functional or naturopathic medicine... or what we like to call the "kNEW medicine".
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.
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.
The development of modern neurology began in the 16th century in Italy and France with Niccolò Massa, Jean Fernel, Jacques Dubois and Andreas Vesalius. Vesalius described in detail the anatomy of the brain and other organs; he had little knowledge of the brain's function, thinking that it resided mainly in the ventricles. Over his lifetime he corrected over 200 of Galen's mistakes. Understanding of medical sciences and diagnosis improved, but with little direct benefit to health care. Few effective drugs existed, beyond opium and quinine. Folklore cures and potentially poisonous metal-based compounds were popular treatments. Independently from Ibn al-Nafis, Michael Servetus rediscovered the pulmonary circulation, but this discovery did not reach the public because it was written down for the first time in the "Manuscript of Paris"[79] in 1546, and later published in the theological work which he paid with his life in 1553. Later this was perfected by Renaldus Columbus and Andrea Cesalpino. Later William Harvey correctly described the circulatory system. The most useful tomes in medicine used both by students and expert physicians were De Materia Medica and Pharmacopoeia.
This is a security feature. Do not change this feature unless the scope of the change is fully understood. You should take a network trace before changing this value to confirm that the request is not malicious. If double escape sequences are allowed by the server, modify the configuration/system.webServer/security/requestFiltering@allowDoubleEscaping setting. This could be caused by a malformed URL sent to the server by a malicious user.

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]
On June 1, 2018 a symposium, 100 Years of Women at Yale School of Medicine, commemorated the 100-year anniversary of women at YSM. This daylong event, open to all faculty, students, staff, alumni, and clinicians in the community, was sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women in Medicine (SWIM), the Minority Organization for Retention & Expansion (MORE), and the Dean’s Office.  This event celebrated the contributions of women faculty and alumni from the School of Medicine. The symposium featured speakers, including Naomi Rogers, PhD, Professor in the History of Medicine and of History who discussed the challenges for women in their fields, as well as those encountered on the pathway to finding work-life balance. 
Medical education instituted at the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico chiefly served the needs of urban elites. Male and female curanderos or lay practitioners, attended to the ills of the popular classes. The Spanish crown began regulating the medical profession just a few years after the conquest, setting up the Royal Tribunal of the Protomedicato, a board for licensing medical personnel in 1527. Licensing became more systematic after 1646 with physicians, druggists, surgeons, and bleeders requiring a license before they could publicly practice.[108] Crown regulation of medical practice became more general in the Spanish empire.[109]

“Rescaling Colonial Life From the Indigenous to the Alien: The Late 20th Century Search for Human Biological Futures,“ follows the reach of colonial practices of natural history through genomics and into outer space. The article centers around biochemist and medical anthropologist Baruch Blumberg, who began his career collecting samples from colonial subjects in Surinam and ended it as head of the NASA program in Astrobiology. Joanna Radin’s history traces entwinements of colonial natural history, space exploration, and inductive methods in postwar biological science.

Medicine is evolving to solve the modern epidemics of chronic disease, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and a range of autoimmune diseases. Our summit intends to not only shine a light on the work of those visionaries and innovators leading this evolution, but also set a unique vision for a more evolved healthcare system. This vision is patient-centric, empowered, proactive and participatory.

This week NDNR.com launched its first Online Summit on Cancer Prevention and we couldn't be more excited to partner with them. If we truly want to be successful in cancer prevention, some of the underlying foundations of Naturopathic Medicine, like the "Therapeutic Order" are a key part of an optimal plan. We welcome their founder and publisher Razi Berry for a great discussion relevant to any practitioner in integrative, functional or naturopathic medicine... or what we like to call the "kNEW medicine".


It was very difficult for women to become doctors in any field before the 1970s. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) became the first woman to formally study and practice medicine in the United States. She was a leader in women's medical education. While Blackwell viewed medicine as a means for social and moral reform, her student Mary Putnam Jacobi (1842–1906) focused on curing disease. At a deeper level of disagreement, Blackwell felt that women would succeed in medicine because of their humane female values, but Jacobi believed that women should participate as the equals of men in all medical specialties using identical methods, values and insights.[123] In the Soviet Union although the majority of medical doctors were women, they were paid less than the mostly male factory workers.[124]
This week on the Evolution of Medicine, we continue our series called The Future of Patient Compliance with Mac Gambill from Nudge Coach. Nudge Coach is lifestyle coaching software that aims to better connect practitioners with their patients.  It allows practitioners to empower patients through online lifestyle coaching through technology  in between visits.
From the early nineteenth century, as lay-led lunacy reform movements gained in influence,[157] ever more state governments in the West extended their authority and responsibility over the mentally ill.[158] Small-scale asylums, conceived as instruments to reshape both the mind and behaviour of the disturbed,[159] proliferated across these regions.[160] By the 1830s, moral treatment, together with the asylum itself, became increasingly medicalised[161] and asylum doctors began to establish a distinct medical identity with the establishment in the 1840s of associations for their members in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and America, together with the founding of medico-psychological journals.[23] Medical optimism in the capacity of the asylum to cure insanity soured by the close of the nineteenth century as the growth of the asylum population far outstripped that of the general population.[a][162] Processes of long-term institutional segregation, allowing for the psychiatric conceptualisation of the natural course of mental illness, supported the perspective that the insane were a distinct population, subject to mental pathologies stemming from specific medical causes.[159] As degeneration theory grew in influence from the mid-nineteenth century,[163] heredity was seen as the central causal element in chronic mental illness,[164] and, with national asylum systems overcrowded and insanity apparently undergoing an inexorable rise, the focus of psychiatric therapeutics shifted from a concern with treating the individual to maintaining the racial and biological health of national populations.[165]

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.
The Evolution of Medicine proudly recommends The Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) educational offerings. IFM works to advance the highest expression of individual health by advocating Functional Medicine as the standard of care. To achieve this goal, their work is primarily focused on education, access, economics, collaboration and development, and research. To learn more visit www.IFM.org/EvoMed.
×