The week on the Evolution of Podcast, we welcome Dr. Elson Haas, leader in the field of integrative medicine. After four decades of practicing integrative medicine in the insurance model, he provides us with some great insights into how he is able keep is practice going.​​ Dr. Haas' latest book Staying Healthy with NEW Medicine gives some insights on natural, Eastern, Western concepts into something that is truly useful for the modern practitioner and the modern patient. 

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that’s great.  The summit, it seems there’s so many great speakers, so many good topics.  I love that there’s a doctor practitioner track.  And I really encourage anyone who’s listening to this to check it out, because there’s a wealth of information there.  It’s really representative of what the future of medicine is going to be.  And there’s a lot of really practical, actionable information that you can use right now to improve your health.  So if you want to check it out, go to  That’s E-V-O-M-E-D,  And you can register for free for this summit.  You can watch all the talks for free, which is about as good as it gets.  And, yeah, go over there and sign up, and they’ll send you the schedule.
The foundational text of Chinese medicine is the Huangdi neijing, (or Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon), written 5th century to 3rd century BCE.[31] Near the end of the 2nd century CE, during the Han dynasty, Zhang Zhongjing, wrote a Treatise on Cold Damage, which contains the earliest known reference to the Neijing Suwen. The Jin Dynasty practitioner and advocate of acupuncture and moxibustion, Huangfu Mi (215–282), also quotes the Yellow Emperor in his Jiayi jing, c. 265. During the Tang Dynasty, the Suwen was expanded and revised, and is now the best extant representation of the foundational roots of traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine that is based on the use of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage and other forms of therapy has been practiced in China for thousands of years.

The paper of Paul Ewald in 1980, “Evolutionary Biology and the Treatment of Signs and Symptoms of Infectious Disease”,[79] and that of Williams and Nesse in 1991, “The Dawn of Darwinian Medicine”[15] were key developments. The latter paper “draw a favorable reception”,[43]page x and led to a book, Why We Get Sick (published as Evolution and healing in the UK). In 2008, an online journal started: Evolution and Medicine Review.

The earliest known physician is also credited to ancient Egypt: Hesy-Ra, "Chief of Dentists and Physicians" for King Djoser in the 27th century BCE.[26] Also, the earliest known woman physician, Peseshet, practiced in Ancient Egypt at the time of the 4th dynasty. Her title was "Lady Overseer of the Lady Physicians." In addition to her supervisory role, Peseshet trained midwives at an ancient Egyptian medical school in Sais.[citation needed]
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 Evolution of Medicine is excited to announce the creation of it's second course the Membership Practice Builder. Some of the most successful functional medicine clinics are employing different types of membership models to make it more affordable for patients and at the same time, guarantees income for practitioners. As ever, we have heard our our community of practitioners when they expressed great interest in learning how to to set up a membership practice model. Visit for more information. 

^ Houstoun, Robert; Cheselden, William; Arbuthnot, John (1723). Lithotomus castratus; or Mr. Cheselden's Treatise on the high operation for the stone: thoroughly examin'd and plainly found to be Lithotomia Douglassiana, under another title: in a letter to Dr. John Arbuthnot. With an appendix, wherein both authors are fairly compar'd. T. Payne. Retrieved 7 December 2012.

The ancient Mesopotamians had no distinction between "rational science" and magic.[8][9][10] When a person became ill, doctors would prescribe both magical formulas to be recited as well as medicinal treatments.[8][9][10][7] The earliest medical prescriptions appear in Sumerian during the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112 BC – c. 2004 BC).[11] The oldest Babylonian texts on medicine date back to the Old Babylonian period in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE.[12] The most extensive Babylonian medical text, however, is the Diagnostic Handbook written by the ummânū, or chief scholar, Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa,[13][14] during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina (1069–1046 BCE).[15] Along with the Egyptians, the Babylonians introduced the practice of diagnosis, prognosis, physical examination, and remedies. In addition, the Diagnostic Handbook introduced the methods of therapy and cause. The text contains a list of medical symptoms and often detailed empirical observations along with logical rules used in combining observed symptoms on the body of a patient with its diagnosis and prognosis.[16] The Diagnostic Handbook was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, including the modern view that through the examination and inspection of the symptoms of a patient, it is possible to determine the patient's disease, its cause and future development, and the chances of the patient's recovery. The symptoms and diseases of a patient were treated through therapeutic means such as bandages, herbs and creams.[13]
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.
The transition from hunter-gatherer to settled agricultural societies brought new diseases, but also allowed people to develop wound healing and bone-setting skills and medicines. The development of cuneiform (wedge-shaped) writing in Mesopotamia and hieroglyphs in Egypt allowed preservation and dissemination of medical knowledge and created the first technical medical language.
Magic and religion played a large part in the medicine of prehistoric or early human society. Administration of a vegetable drug or remedy by mouth was accompanied by incantations, dancing, grimaces, and all the tricks of the magician. Therefore, the first doctors, or “medicine men,” were witch doctors or sorcerers. The use of charms and talismans, still prevalent in modern times, is of ancient origin.

The transition from hunter-gatherer to settled agricultural societies brought new diseases, but also allowed people to develop wound healing and bone-setting skills and medicines. The development of cuneiform (wedge-shaped) writing in Mesopotamia and hieroglyphs in Egypt allowed preservation and dissemination of medical knowledge and created the first technical medical language.

^ Nesse RM, Bergstrom CT, Ellison PT, Flier JS, Gluckman P, Govindaraju DR, Niethammer D, Omenn GS, Perlman RL, Schwartz MD, Thomas MG, Stearns SC, Valle D (January 2010). "Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107. 107 Suppl 1 (suppl_1): 1800–7. doi:10.1073/pnas.0906224106. PMC 2868284. PMID 19918069.
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]
Another of Hippocrates's major contributions may be found in his descriptions of the symptomatology, physical findings, surgical treatment and prognosis of thoracic empyema, i.e. suppuration of the lining of the chest cavity. His teachings remain relevant to present-day students of pulmonary medicine and surgery. Hippocrates was the first documented person to practise cardiothoracic surgery, and his findings are still valid.
^ Ray, L.J. (1981). "Models of madness in Victorian asylum practice". European Journal of Sociology. 22 (2): 229–64. doi:10.1017/S0003975600003714. PMID 11630885.; Cox, Catherine (2012). Negotiating Insanity in the Southeast of Ireland, 1820–1900. Manchester University Press. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-0719075032.; Malcolm, Elizabeth (2003). "'Ireland's Crowded Madhouses': The Institutional Confinement of the Insane in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Ireland". In Porter, Roy; Wright, David. The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800–1965. Cambridge University Press. pp. 315–33. ISBN 978-1139439626.

Women had always served in ancillary roles, and as midwives and healers. The professionalization of medicine forced them increasingly to the sidelines. As hospitals multiplied they relied in Europe on orders of Roman Catholic nun-nurses, and German Protestant and Anglican deaconesses in the early 19th century. They were trained in traditional methods of physical care that involved little knowledge of medicine. The breakthrough to professionalization based on knowledge of advanced medicine was led by Florence Nightingale in England. She resolved to provide more advanced training than she saw on the Continent. At Kaiserswerth, where the first German nursing schools were founded in 1836 by Theodor Fliedner, she said, "The nursing was nil and the hygiene horrible."[119]) Britain's male doctors preferred the old system, but Nightingale won out and her Nightingale Training School opened in 1860 and became a model. The Nightingale solution depended on the patronage of upper class women, and they proved eager to serve. Royalty became involved. In 1902 the wife of the British king took control of the nursing unit of the British army, became its president, and renamed it after herself as the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps; when she died the next queen became president. Today its Colonel In Chief is Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the daughter-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II. In the United States, upper middle class women who already supported hospitals promoted nursing. The new profession proved highly attractive to women of all backgrounds, and schools of nursing opened in the late 19th century. They soon a function of large hospitals, where they provided a steady stream of low-paid idealistic workers. The International Red Cross began operations in numerous countries in the late 19th century, promoting nursing as an ideal profession for middle class women.[120]

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.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast continues our “Success Leaves Clues” series, “From Matrix to Action” and welcome former Functional Forum guest Dr. Lara Salyer of Health Innate. Dr. Salyer, DO was featured on the Functional Forum this year, is an enthusiastic member of our Practice Accelerator program, and runs a functional medicine practice in rural Wisconsin.