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HISTORY OF MEDICINE THE MEDICAL RENAISSANCE
Rediscovery of original Greek or Latin texts led to a rebirth of old ideas.
People started to ignore Galen and other authors and even burn their books
in order to start from scratch.
Printing had been invented and so medical books were much more available,
also the diagrams in the books could be more detailed as they would no
longer have to be copied out by hand.
Cause and Cure of Disease
Still no knowledge on the cause or correct cures so the majority of the
population continued to treat themselves with magical and herbal remedies.
Common sense cures were still used to try and restore the natural balance of
a body while magical spells and prayer were used to treat the unknown.
Vesalius & Anatomy
Vesalius was born in 1514 in Brussels into a medical family. He studied at the
University of Louvain before moving to Paris until civil war broke out and
he was forced back to Louvain.
Although dissection was allowed, boiling up bodies to get a skeleton was
not, and so Vesalius went to a gibbet where executed criminals were
displayed and took the whole thing in order to study.
He moved to Padua where he transformed the way in which anatomy and
surgery was taught (Professor of Surgery). He did his own (public)
dissections and published diagrams of anatomical drawings. In 1538 he
published the `Tabulae Sex'
He began to find areas where Galen was wrong such as the five-lobed liver
which didn't exist in humans. He later went on to correct Galen's errors and
scientifically prove them to be wrong.
In 1534 he published `The Fabric of the Human Body', a comprehensive
study of human anatomy, illustrated by famous artists such as Titian. These
diagrams had letters on them which were used as a key.
Harvey & Physiology
Born in 1578 he studied medicine at Padua.
As he dissected cold-blooded animals whose heartbeats were slow enough to
analyse, he concluded that the heart pushed out large volumes of blood (like
the recently invented pumps).
He realised that there was so much blood being pumped around that it could
not, like Galen said, be constantly made and used up and instead created a
theory of circulation.
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He proved this and demonstrated that blood could only move in one way by
simple experiments which involved highlighting the way in which valves
prevented blood from flowing in the opposite direction.
Pare & Surgery
He was born in France in 1510 as the son of a barber-surgeon. He worked
as a military surgeon and in 1545 he published his first work on treating
He was so successful that in 1552, he was appointed surgeon to Henre II of
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Vesalius' books (Tabulae Sex + Fabric of the Human Body) could be universally
available. By change he came across skeleton which enabled him to make these advances
and transformed the way anatomy was taught with public dissections and observation.
Pare and developments in surgery believed the patient's wellbeing to be paramount.
Used the beginning of modern scientific thinking in testing old theories. By change he
discovered a better alternative to the treatment of gunshot wounds by using egg yolk,
turpentine and rose oil.…read more