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 & […]
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 history of medicine shows how societies have changed in their approach to illness and disease from ancient times to the present. Early medical traditions include those of Babylon, China, Egypt and India. The Indians introduced the concepts of medical diagnosis, prognosis, and advanced medical ethics. The Hippocratic Oath was written in ancient Greece in the 5th century BCE, and is a direct inspiration for oaths of office that physicians swear upon entry into the profession today. In the Middle Ages, surgical practices inherited from the ancient masters were improved and then systematized in Rogerius's The Practice of Surgery. Universities began systematic training of physicians around 1220 CE in Italy.

This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we welcome Brian Mulvaney, Director of Strategy at CrossFit. If you’ve been part of our community for awhile, you know that we’re working towards helping create 100k micropractices. Our plan for micropractices very much mirrors the Crossfit strategy – reduce the overhead, empower individuals to become entrepreneurs.
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. 

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.[152] 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.[153] Increasingly, lunacy was perceived less as a physiological condition than as a mental and moral one[154] to which the correct response was persuasion, aimed at inculcating internal restraint, rather than external coercion.[155] 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[156] and realised in an institutional setting with the foundation in 1796 of the Quaker-run York Retreat in England.[23]


During the 20th century, large-scale wars were attended with medics and mobile hospital units which developed advanced techniques for healing massive injuries and controlling infections rampant in battlefield conditions. During the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920), General Pancho Villa organized hospital trains for wounded soldiers. Boxcars marked Servicio Sanitario ("sanitary service") were re-purposed as surgical operating theaters and areas for recuperation, and staffed by up to 40 Mexican and U.S. physicians. Severely wounded soldiers were shuttled back to base hospitals.[168] Canadian physician Norman Bethune, M.D. developed a mobile blood-transfusion service for frontline operations in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), but ironically, he himself died of blood poisoning.[169] Thousands of scarred troops provided the need for improved prosthetic limbs and expanded techniques in plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery. Those practices were combined to broaden cosmetic surgery and other forms of elective surgery.

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.
The Greeks were also surgeons and some of the equipment they used is recognizable today. Some of the tools of the Greek physicians included forceps, scalpels, tooth-extraction forceps and catheters, and there were even syringes for drawing pus from wounds. One instrument, the spoon of Diocles, was used by the surgeon Kritoboulos, to remove the injured eye of Phillip of Macedon without undue scarring. Finally, the Greeks knew how to splint and treat bone fractures, as well as add compresses to prevent infection.
In London, the crown allowed two hospitals to continue their charitable work, under nonreligious control of city officials.[96] The convents were all shut down but Harkness finds that women—some of them former nuns—were part of a new system that delivered essential medical services to people outside their family. They were employed by parishes and hospitals, as well as by private families, and provided nursing care as well as some medical, pharmaceutical, and surgical services.[97]
Chris Kresser:  So what kind of response are you getting?  I mean, it sounds like, just from the little bit that I’ve heard, that this is really happening at a big level, with The Huffington Post support.  You know, this is getting beyond the typical kind of blog tour that a lot of these summits do.  So what’s been the response in the more mainstream world to the whole concept of functional medicine and doing a summit on this topic?
^ Bynum, W.F. (1974). "Rationales for therapy in British psychiatry: 1780–1835". Medical History. 18 (4): 317–34. doi:10.1017/s0025727300019761. PMC 1081592. PMID 4618306.; Digby, Anne (1988). "Moral Treatment at the Retreat 1796–1846". In Porter, Roy; Bynum, W.F.; Shepherd, Michael. The Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Psychiatry. 2. London & New York: Tavistock. pp. 52–71. ISBN 978-0415008594.
During the 20th century, large-scale wars were attended with medics and mobile hospital units which developed advanced techniques for healing massive injuries and controlling infections rampant in battlefield conditions. During the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920), General Pancho Villa organized hospital trains for wounded soldiers. Boxcars marked Servicio Sanitario ("sanitary service") were re-purposed as surgical operating theaters and areas for recuperation, and staffed by up to 40 Mexican and U.S. physicians. Severely wounded soldiers were shuttled back to base hospitals.[168] Canadian physician Norman Bethune, M.D. developed a mobile blood-transfusion service for frontline operations in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), but ironically, he himself died of blood poisoning.[169] Thousands of scarred troops provided the need for improved prosthetic limbs and expanded techniques in plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery. Those practices were combined to broaden cosmetic surgery and other forms of elective surgery.
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 welcome the Mark Krasser and Anna Gannon from Expectful. Expectful provides guided meditation for fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood. At the Evolution of Medicine, we often talk about the power of digital health and how it comes together with medicine to solve chronic disease. Mark and Anna join us to explain the science behind how meditation can support mom during pregnancy and labor. They also explain the deeper bond mom and baby feel, as well as, how it supports baby's health.
This podcast is made possible by one of our Summit sponsors DNALife. There are few reasons why we chose this test, firstly because this test can only be ordered through a practitioner ensuring that the results will get a professional, responsible interpretation. Dr. Joffe was also centrally involved in creating this test, curating only those SNPs and other data points that have enough good research data to infer real meaning.

Guy's Hospital, the first great British hospital opened in 1721 in London, with funding from businessman Thomas Guy. In 1821 a bequest of £200,000 by William Hunt in 1829 funded expansion for an additional hundred beds. Samuel Sharp (1709–78), a surgeon at Guy's Hospital, from 1733 to 1757, was internationally famous; his A Treatise on the Operations of Surgery (1st ed., 1739), was the first British study focused exclusively on operative technique.[103]
The Byzantine Empire's neighbors, the Persian Sassanid Empire, also made their noteworthy contributions mainly with the establishment of the Academy of Gondeshapur, which was "the most important medical center of the ancient world during the 6th and 7th centuries."[64] In addition, Cyril Elgood, British physician and a historian of medicine in Persia, commented that thanks to medical centers like the Academy of Gondeshapur, "to a very large extent, the credit for the whole hospital system must be given to Persia."[65]
Ancient Egypt developed a large, varied and fruitful medical tradition. Herodotus described the Egyptians as "the healthiest of all men, next to the Libyans",[18] because of the dry climate and the notable public health system that they possessed. According to him, "the practice of medicine is so specialized among them that each physician is a healer of one disease and no more." Although Egyptian medicine, to a considerable extent, dealt with the supernatural,[19] it eventually developed a practical use in the fields of anatomy, public health, and clinical diagnostics.

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On this podcast we will be announcing our most expansive and exciting adventure to date, called Journey to 100. It will be held on June 30th and available for live streaming through the Functional Forum. You might remember Evolution of Medicine co-founder James Maskell presented his TEDx talk in 2015 from Guernsey called Community, Not Medicine, Creates Health. He's heading back to Guernsey to host the event, along with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, the BBC’s "Doctor in the House". Journey to 100 will host 20 leading global healthcare, lifestyle and longevity experts, who will share their perspectives and help us all understand how we can live healthier, happier lives, from zero to 100 years old and beyond. Expect over 20 international speakers from all over the world including some past Functional Forum presenters like Dr. Janet Settle, Dr. Michael Ash, Tom Blue and Dr. Sachin Patel. Beyond progressive medicine models, there will also be talks on fascinating topics indirectly related to healthcare like sustainable farming, universal basic income and community support structures.
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]
Sushruta advises his students that however well read they are, they are not competent to treat disease until they have practical experience. Surgical incisions were to be tried out on the skin of fruits, while carefully extracting fruit seeds enabled the student to develop the skill of removing foreign bodies from flesh. They also practised on dead animals and on leather bags filled with water, before being let loose on real patients.
The Islamic civilization rose to primacy in medical science as its physicians contributed significantly to the field of medicine, including anatomy, ophthalmology, pharmacology, pharmacy, physiology, surgery, and the pharmaceutical sciences. The Arabs were influenced by ancient Indian, Persian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine medical practices, and helped them develop further.[66] Galen & Hippocrates were pre-eminent authorities. The translation of 129 of Galen's works into Arabic by the Nestorian Christian Hunayn ibn Ishaq and his assistants, and in particular Galen's insistence on a rational systematic approach to medicine, set the template for Islamic medicine, which rapidly spread throughout the Arab Empire.[67] while Europe was in its Dark Ages, Islam expanded in West Asia and enjoyed a golden age. Its most famous physicians included the Persian polymaths Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi and Avicenna, who wrote more than 40 works on health, medicine, and well-being. Taking leads from Greece and Rome, Islamic scholars kept both the art and science of medicine alive and moving forward.[68]
During the 18th century the mentally ill were not regarded as 'truly' human. It was thought that they did not have human feelings. They were therefore confined in chains. People paid to visit asylums and see the insane as if they were animals in a zoo. However in 1793 a doctor called Philippe Pinel argued that the insane should be released and treated humanely. As an experiment he was allowed to release some patients. The experiment worked and attitudes to the insane began to change.

Galen's medical works were regarded as authoritative until well into the Middle Ages. Galen left a physiological model of the human body that became the mainstay of the medieval physician's university anatomy curriculum, but it suffered greatly from stasis and intellectual stagnation because some of Galen's ideas were incorrect; he did not dissect a human body.[53] Greek and Roman taboos had meant that dissection was usually banned in ancient times, but in the Middle Ages it changed.[54][55]


The Egyptian physicians knew how to suture wound, placing raw meat upon the wound to aid healing and stimulate blood production. They also used honey, known for its antiseptic qualities and ability to stimulate the secretion of infection-fighting white blood cells. Ancient Egyptian priest-doctors used moldy bread as an antibiotic, thousands of years before Fleming discovered penicillin.


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]
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we take a look back at an interview with birthing and environmental health advocate, Latham Thomas along with film maker and author, Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. Both have been guests on the Functional Forum and we circle back to their talk: Toxic Babies: Threat to Our Evolution? from the first Evolution of Medicine Summit.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we are thrilled to be starting a series of podcasts for the month of August all around our upcoming Interpreting Your Genetics summit. In the coming week, you'll get to have a look under the hood of our founder James Maskell's genetics and genomics as he goes through the process of genetic testing and interpretation by leading educators in the field.
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