From Anesthesia to X-Rays

Innovations and Discoveries That Changed Medicine Forever

by Christiane Nockels Fabbri
Foreword by Sandra Panem, PhD


Important discoveries are not always recognized as such when they occur.

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Cover image for From Anesthesia to X-Rays

November 2016


Pages 246
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Health & Wellness/Medicine
  Health & Wellness/Medicine

Easy to read and to use, this A-to-Z mini-encyclopedia covers the most important medical innovations of the last 200 years.

Medical innovation is an extremely important topic—and one to which relatively little study has been devoted. This volume is designed to introduce readers to the history and development of key advances in the science and practice of medicine. It explores issues in medical history and provides perspective on contemporary scientific research and innovation. It also provides a backdrop against which to evaluate current headlines, such as the discoveries of live samples of smallpox virus in an unused storage room at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and incidents of bubonic plague in China and Colorado.

Although the entries in this single-volume resource describe how each innovation works, this is not intended as a technical text. Instead, the focus is on the context in which each innovation was developed and on its lasting importance in the field of medicine. Through these fascinating accounts, readers will be able to trace the evolution and legacy of key innovations and to see how other sectors of society—such as industry and the military—have affected and been affected by advances in the field of medicine.


  • Features 50 interesting A-to-Z reference entries on medical innovations
  • Covers biographies of important medical innovators, descriptions of the first use of an innovation, and descriptions of other innovations that were less successful
  • Provides an introductory essay explaining how the list was chosen and discussing the importance of innovation in the medical field
  • Includes a chronology of major milestones in medical innovation
  • Utilizes a ready-reference format that makes finding information about particular innovations easy
Author Info

Christiane Nockels Fabbri, PhD, a native of Luxembourg, has practiced clinical medicine since 1984, most recently at Yale Health in New Haven, CT. She studied psychology at Aix-en-Provence and medicine at Strasbourg and was certified in physician associate studies by the Yale School of Medicine, where she later served as PA Program associate director. She holds a master of philosophy degree in medieval studies and a doctorate in the history of medicine from Yale University, where her research focused on medieval and early modern plague. Her published works include an essay on the therapeutic value of theriac as an early plague remedy ("Treating Medieval Plague" in Early Science and Medicine) and an edited translation of "Angelo Mosso's Circulation of Blood in the Human Brain."



"This work applies a holistic approach that reaches beyond the implications for medicine and explores a more diverse way of understanding the innovation. Recognition is given to the dynamic nature of innovation with the exploration of related social contexts, political considerations, economic implications, and much more. The author uses writing that is easily accessible, translating medical and scientific content into a user-friendly volume for the layman."Booklist

"The emphasis on innovation makes this book unique compared to other noteworthy titles on similar themes. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. All readers."Choice


"A wonderfully readable and authoritative guide to medical innovations that have transformed medicine over the past 200 years. The author combines a deft command of the history of medicine with vivid storytelling that brings an engaging human dimension to this account of scientific and technological change."—Professor John Warner, Chair of the History of Medicine Program, Yale University

"A well organized, engaging, and concise presentation of key therapeutic, technological, and clinical innovations that have profoundly altered the practice of modern medicine. This book—brimming with well-placed images and clearly edited selections of primary sources—will certainly inspire readers to pursue these topics in greater depth."—Naomi Rogers, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of the History of Medicine and History at Yale University

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