We take many modern medical devices and techniques for granted, but everything from hypodermic needles and baby incubators to organ transplants, antibiotics, and hearing aids began simply as ideas in someone’s mind. And while such concepts as formal medical education, methodical clinical trials, and universal healthcare may seem commonplace today, this wasn’t always the case. Some of these innovations and milestones met with resistance from society and medical professionals, while others were embraced almost overnight.
Medical Firsts: Innovations and Milestones That Changed the World profiles more than 50 turning points in the history of medicine, spanning from the 11th through 21st centuries. The book also highlights key trailblazers, such as the first American dentist, first microbiologist, and first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Each entry begins with a description of how the first came to be, followed by discussion of the historical context in which it emerged and its enduring impact. Sources for further information are provided at the end of each entry and serve as a gateway to further study.
- Highlights medical firsts from a variety of fields and specialties, including surgery, obstetrics, genetics, and medical education
- Humanizes the history of medicine by providing the story behind the person or team at the heart of each innovation or milestone
- Explains the social and scientific climate in which each medical first occurred
- Shows the effects each innovation or milestone has had on medicine today