Medicine through time

30000- 1981

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Important Dates

  • 3000 BC- Writing developing in Egypt
  • 400BC- Cult of Ascelpios popular
  • 420-350 BC- Hippocratic Coprus
  • 129 AD- Birth of Galen
  • 476 AD- Falll of Rome
  • 663 AD- Synod of Whitby
  • 980-1037 AD- Life of Avicenna
  • 1348- Black death
  • 1454 Priniting in Europe
  • 1660- Founding of royal society
  • 1665- Great plague of London
  • 1720- Incoulation in Britain
  • 1796- First vaccination
  • 1831- Cholera in Britain
  • 1842- Chadwick report
  • 1846/7- Ether and chloroform in use
  • 1848- 1st public health act
  • 1854-  Cholera linked to water pollution (snow)
  • 1857- Germ Theory ( pasteur)
  • 1875- Public health act
  • 1890- Anticeptic in general use
  • 1895- First X-Rays used
  • 1896- Becquerel discovers radioactivity
  • 1900- Blood groups discovered
  • 1906- Liberal reforms
  • 1928- Penicillin (fleming)
  • 1939-45- World war 2
  • 1951- First kidney transplant
  • 1953- Structure of DNA identified
  • Late 1950s- The pill
  • 1981- Aids disovered
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The black death

The black death was a series of plagues that first swept Europe in the mid 14th century. Pneumonic plague spread by coughs and sneezes ( airborne) and bubonic plague spread by black rat flea bites.

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Ambrose Pare

Ambrose Pare was a barber surgeon in 1510, he later worked for a public hospital, then became an army surgeon.

He is well known for his invention of silk ligatures, which is a way of tying bloob vessels together after amputation, instead of using a hot iron (cauterisation).

Pare also desinged quite sophisticated artificial legs

By chance Ambrose Pare created an ointment for putting on gunshot wounds, he had ran out of the hot oil which he normally would use to treat them and instead mixed together herbs and things which created a salve. The ointment he created worked better and had less painful affects on his patients than the hot burning oil did.

Pare eventually became a surgeon to the King Of France, but his ideas were resisted by doctors because he was only a lowly surgeon, with the help and recognition of the King and his support his ideas became more accepted.

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Edward Jenner 1749

Edward Jenner had heard that milkmaids didnt get smallpox, but they did catch a milder cowpox.

Milkmaids were employeed to milk the cows

Using careful scientific methods Jenne investigated and discovered that it was true people who had cowpox didnt get smallpox.

In 1796 Jenner tested his theory which would either be a massive breakthrough or fail. He tested his theory on a boy called James Phipps, Jenner infected him with puss from Sarah Nelmes who was a milkmaid with cowpox. Jenner then infected him with smallpox. James didnt catch the disease. This shows Jenners theory to be correct.

The latin word for cow, Vacca, gives us the word Vaccination.

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William Harvey Circulation of Blood

William Harvey was born in 1578 and studied medicine and anatomy at Padua, he then worked in London as a doctor and lectuar at the 'Royal Collage Of Surgeons' before becoming a Royal Physician to James 1 & Charles 1.

Galen thought that the blood was formed, came to the tissues then was consumed. Harvey realised this way was wrong. His logic for suggesting circulation was that too much blood was being pumped out of the heart for it to be continually formed and consumed- so it must be going round and round.

Harvey also identified the difference between arteris and veins, which built on the discoveries of 'Eraistraus' and then noticed that blood changed colour as it passes through the lungs.

Harveys work was a turning point in anatomy but no in surgery, because bleeding continued to be performed and blood transfusions were not succesful until the discovery of blood groups in 1900.

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Asclepios was the God of healing, he had two daughters Panacea and Hygeia which is where we get hygine aand remedy for all illnesses from.

It was a spiritual and supernatural approach to medicine, people would follow the cult of Asclepios. He had temples called Asclepions and people would stay at them when they were ill.

Visitiors were expected to undergo ceremonial washes in the sea, make a sacrifice to God and sleep in a building called an abaton, it was a narrow building with a roof but no solid walls so that it was open to the air. Whilst sleeping there god would come to them in a dream and cure them.

Priests did ward rounds administrating ointments and performing rituals, some of which involved a snake. The snake is a sacred animal of Asclepios and is still seen on the logos of many medical organisations (ambulances).

Women were allowed to be doctors in Ancient Greece

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Hippocrates- the founding father of western medici

Hippocrated (460-377bc) is acknowledged as the founding father of modern medicine.He was born on the island of Kos, travelled around and then taught medicine in Kos before dying in Larissa. Very little else is known about him but he is associated with the Hippocratic Oath and the Hippocratic Corpus

The Hippocratic Oath is a promise made by doctors to obey the rules of behaviour in their professional lives. Medical ethics are based on the Hippocratic Oath.

The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of medical books, some which might have been written by Hippocrates or his followers. It is probably what survived of the llibrary of the Kos school of medicine at which Hippocrated taught.

Hippocrates saw the healthy body as being in balance- he thought that illness was an inbalance of the elements. 'Airs, waters and places' a book from the Hippocratic Corpus looked for environmental causes for diease, not gods of spirits.

They also encouraged the use of the four-step method for treating an illness that we now call the 'clinical method of observation'.


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Aristoital linked diseases to the four humours

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'The lady with the Lamp' Florence Nightingale 1820

Florence Nightingale brought a new sense of discpline and professionalism to nursing which had quite a poor reputation at this time. Despite her familys opposition she became a nurse.

 The crimean war broke out in March 1854

Sidney Herbert who was both a friend of the family and 'secretary of war' requested that Florence went to Scuari to sort out the nursing care in the hospital.    Florence went despite opposition, she took with her 38 hand picked chosen nurses. Before she arrived the death rate in the hospital stood at 42%, two years after she had first taken over it dropped to just 2%, this was partly the result of hygine improvements Florence made to ward hygine.

She wrote a book 'Notes on nursing' explaining her methods, it was the standard textbook for generations of nurses.

The public raised £44.000 to help her train nurses, and she set up the Nightingale school of nursing in St. Thomas Hospital London. By 1900 there were 64 000 trained nurses in Britain, from collages across the country.

The 1919 Registration of Nurses Act made training compulsary for nurses.

It wasn't until 1960 that men were admitted to the Royal collage of nursing.

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Mother Seacole: Mary Jane Seacole

Mary Jane Seacole 1805-1881 learnt nursing from her mother who ran a boarding house for invalid soliders in Kingston, Jamaica.

In 1854 she came to England as a volenteer nurse in the Crimean War, she was rejected possibly on racists ground, but went anyway, paying for her own passage.

Financing herself by selling goods to soldiers and travellers she nursed soldiers on the battlefields and built the British Hotel- a small group of makeshift buildings that served as a hospital, shop and canteen for the soliders.

She couldnt find enough work as a nurse in England after the war and went bankrupt- though she did recieve support due to the press intrest in her story. she wrote an autobiography

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Germs and the fight against them

1857- The start of the War On Germs

  • 1857 Pasteur- Germ theory
  • 1882 Koch- Identifies TB microbe
  • 1891 Von Behring- Develops diptheria antitoxin
  • 1910 Ehrlick- Develops salvasin 606 (used instead of penicillin nowadays)
  • 1828 Fleming- Discovers penicillin
  • 1832 Domagk-Sulphonamides
  • 1841 Florey- Mass production of Penicillin
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Pasteur was the first to suggest that germs caused

Micro organisms had been seen through the 18th century microscopes, but scientists thought they were caused by disease and appeared because of illness. This was the theory of Spontaneous generation. Instead of blaming the microbes, people looked for noxious gases called miasmas.

Louis Pasteur was employed in 1857 to find the explination for the souring of sugar beet used in fermenting industrial alcohol. His answer was to blame the germs in the air.

Pasteur proved there were germs in the air by sterilising some water and keeping it in a flask that didnt allow airborne particles in. This stayed sterile- but sterilised water kept in an open flask bred micro-organisms again.

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Robert Koch

The german scientist Robert Koch began the process of linking diseases to the microbe that caused them.

Koch developed a solid medium to grow cultures, and dyeing techniques to colour microbes, which he used to view through high powered microscopes. He used his daughters pet mice to experiment with.

He identified anthrax spores (1875) and the bacteria that caused septicemia, tuberculosis (1882) and cholera (1883).

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