The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Jul 31, 2008 - Medical - 169 pages
Against the backdrop of unprecedented concern for the future of health care, this Very Short Introduction surveys the history of medicine from classical times, through the scholastic medieval tradition and the Enlightenment to the present day. Taking a thematic rather than strictly chronological approach, W.F. Bynum, explores the key turning points in the history of Western medicine-such as the first surgical procedures, the advent of hospitals, the introduction of anesthesia, X-Rays, vaccinations, and many other innovations, as well as the rise of experimental medicine. The book also explores Western medicine's encounters with Chinese and Indian medicine, as well as nontraditional treatments such as homeopathy, chiropractic, and other alternative medicines. Covering a vast amount of information, this Very Short Introduction sheds new light on medicine's past, while at the same time engaging with contemporary issues, discoveries, and controversies, such as the spiraling costs of health care, lack of health insurance for millions, breakthrough treatments, and much more. For readers who wish to understand the how we have arrived at our current state of medical practice and knowledge, this book is essential reading.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style,Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
 

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Contents

the kinds of medicine
1
Medicine at the bedside
5
Medicine in the library
19
Medicine in the hospital
43
Medicine in the community
68
Medicine in the laboratory
91
Medicine in the modern world
118
References
157
Further reading
159
Index
165
A Very Short Introduction
170
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About the author (2008)

William Bynum is Professor Emeritus of the History of Medicine at University College, London, and was for many years Head of the Academic Unit of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. He edited the scholarly journal iMedical History/i from 1980 to 2001, and has written on manyaspects of the history of medicine and its basic sciences. His previous publications include iScience and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century/i (CUP); iThe Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine/i (2 vols., edited with Roy Porter, Routledge); iThe Oxford Dictionary ofScientific Quotations/i (with Roy Porter, Oxford); and iThe Dictionary of Medical Biography/i (5 vols., with Helen Bynum, Greenwood).

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