Versalius and Harvey's work and the impact it had

Run through of why their work did not make a big practical difference

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  • Created on: 30-05-12 15:55
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Why didn't Versalius and Harvey's discoveries make a big practical
Many doctors refused to believe that Galen could be wrong
Some said his works only showed that the body had changed since
Galen's time
Nobody was healthier as a result of his works, many more discoveries
were needed before people lived longer
However, Versalius' work did encourage doctors to question ancient ideas
rather than just accept them
Still more to discover about the blood
Some doctors ignored his theory and others said it was wrong because
he contradicted Galen
Harvey's discoveries didn't make anyone better, people thought he was
He could not explain everything about the circulation of the blood. He
did not know how blood moved from arteries to the veins (only when
more powerful microscopes were invented that capillaries could be
It took 40 years for Harvey's ideas were accepted by other doctors and taught
at medical schools. This is because people are reluctant to accept new ideas if
it means accepting that their knowledge is actually wrong, especially as
doctors training was still based on Galen's ideas and physicians did not carry
out dissections
Also, Harvey's work was on physiology (how the body's organs function) rather
than on the cause or treatment of illness and so his work did not seem
particularly relevant to the works of physicians and the problems of disease.


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