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The Alarming History of Medicine: Amusing Anecdotes from Hippocrates to Heart Transplants cover
  • ISBN: 9780312104115
  • ISBN10: 0312104111

The Alarming History of Medicine: Amusing Anecdotes from Hippocrates to Heart Transplants

by Gordon, Richard

  • List Price: $22.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publish date: 11/01/1993
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Description
A wonderfully humorous - and decidedly unorthodox (!) history of medicine from Hippocrates to the present. Delightfully witty and richly informative, this new book by the author of the classic Doctor in the House is a collection of anecdotes describing how the historical breakthroughs in medicine were really made. Using hilarious stories, based on actual facts, Gordon shows that most monumental discoveries were originally accidents. The microscope, for instance, was accidentally invented when Antony van Leeuwenhoek, a seventeenth-century Dutch optician, got two lenses stuck in a tube; he became the first man to see his own spermatozoa. Doctors had traditionally placed their ears on a patient's chest to listen to the heartbeat; faced with an unusually buxom patient, Dr. Rene Laennec modestly insisted on using a rolled-up sheet of paper, thus creating the stethoscope. Modern surgery was invented by gunpowder; when bows and arrows were superseded by powder and shot in the fifteenth century, the human damage it wreaked caused major advances in surgical technique. And if the illnesses were bad, the treatments were frequently worse. Did you know that the following cures were once thought to be infallible: Warts. Touch each wart with a separate pebble, put pebbles in a bag, drop bag on way to church, finder will receive your warts... Mumps. Put patient in a donkey's halter and lead him around the pigsty. Repeat three times... Whooping cough. Drink water from the skull of a bishop, if available... and Hernias. At one time, castration was thought to be a cure for male hernias. A must for hypochondriacs, doctors, medical students, and anyone fascinated by the world of medicine, The AlarmingHistory of Medicine is clever, revealing - and all true. It includes sixteen pages of cartoons, photographs, and drawings.
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Big Hearted Books

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