Medicine Through Time

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Disease and infection 

Prehistoric people were mainly Nomadic hunter gatherers, this meant they avoided water born diseases from contaminated sources but other diseases such as anthrax and rabies were caught from animals. They had no ideas on the cause of disease - Gods and spirits were belived to be the cause. Cures included both natural and supernatural 

Natural                                                                     Supernatural

  • Simple herbal remedies                                       - Medicine men - a person with knowledge 
  • Broken bones set with mud and sticks                      and power over the spirits
  •                                                                           - Chants, prayers and charms
  •                                                                           - Trephining to release a bad spirit 

Surgery and anatomy 

Some simple amputations, mostly unsuccessful, splints for broken legs, knowledge of boody from animal attacks, Trephining to release evil spirits, some patients survived

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Ancient Egypt

The Ancient Egyptians were reliant on the river Nile. The successful agriculture meant people had more time and wealth to do other jobs and specialize in other aspects of life. Not only this, the Egyptians developed a form of writing on Papyrus paper.The Egyptians made a connection between the channels of the Nile used to irrigate crops and the "channels" in the human body, when these channels became blocked something went wrong.Blood air and water flowed through the body and when the channels became blocked by rotting food caused illness. They had both male and female doctors and even specialized doctors.Doctors were priests tained using papyrus works, Prayers were used to treat illness 


  • Still believed gods caused illness                          - the Blocked channel theory  


  • Herbal, plant and mineral based remedies
  • Bleeding patients             -  Vomit                  - Purging 
  • Prayers
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Ancient Egypt - 2

Surgery and anatomy 

Improvements in metal work meant people had sharper more effective tools but no majour brakthroughs were made as people believed the body was needed in the afterlife. Human dissection was illeagal and only simple surgery was allowed - preporation for mummification where soft organs like the brain and intestines were removed, but embalmers were not doctors and were looked down at in society so were not able to spread knowledge of the body.

Public health 

The Pharaoh and government did not feel as if public health was their responsibility, However people kept a high standard of cleanliness as part of their religion, they would wash twice a day and the eye makeup worn reduced their chance of getting an infection. Also mosquito nets had been developed. 

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Hippocrates (460 - 377 BC)

Hippocrtes was a Greek Philosopher and docter.

4 - Hippocrates created the theory of the four humours - Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile and Black bile, he said these must balanced to be healthy but an imbalance would lead to illness.He also linked symptoms to the seasons

B - The Hippocratic collection of books was a set of books and observations made from various doctors and some of his own work, it was a detailed collection of symptems and treatments that doctors used for many years to diagnose patients

O - Hippocrates strongly encouraged doctors to observe and record symptoms and treatments so they were more likely to choose the correct cure and the notes could be used in the future 

T - He encouraged doctors to look for natural treatments instead of looking to the gods - he told of the importance of a balanced diet and exercise

HCreated the Hippocratic Oath which gave people confidence in doctors, it made doctors promise to keep a high standard of treatment and behaviour

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Aristotle (384 - 322 BC)

Aristotle was one of the greatest Greek philosophers. His interest in biology led him to dissect animals and plants. He shared many of the same beliefs as Hippocrates and promoted his theories.

He disscovered that the heart and brain were the most important organs and said that the heart provides the body with heat and the brain cools it, this is not correct but it showed a development in the way people looked at the body  

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Galen (129 - 199 AD)

Galen studied medicine at a school in Alexandria and gained experience working as a surgeon at a gladiator school. At the age of 20 he moved to Rome and started public shows of his work.

B - Galen wrote over 60 medical books combining both Greek and Roman medicine that covered every aspect there was, these books were used by medical students for 1500 years and were unchallanged for that time.

O - Galen believed in the four humours theory and took it a step further by suggesting treatment through opposites to balance the 4 humours, too much phlegm was caused by the cold so a hot remedy was needed with peppers and chillis

A - Galen believed that people should try and find out as much as possible about the body. He encouraged the dissection of humans to increase knowledge of anatomy, but this was only allowed in Alexandria so he said animal dissection was also very important. He proved the brain not the heart controlled speech and that arteries as well as veins carry blood

B - People believed that Galen had covered every aspect of medicine and that his books had all the answers. His ideas also fit those of the Cristian Church that controlled education in Europe so his work was taught to the letter and no one could say otherwise.

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Muslim doctors (860 - 1037 AD)

Al-Razi or Rhazes (860 - 925 AD)

Al-Razi was a muslim doctor who wrote over 200 medical books including his own ideas and those of the Ancient works.He was able to identify the symptoms and development of smallpox, He also had doubts about Galen 

Ibn Sina or Avicenna (980 - 1037 AD)

He was also a muslim doctor and he compiled a summary of all medical knowledge of the time in his "The Canon of Medicine". His own knowledge and theories were included in the text and he was known as the ''. Galen of IslamHis book was used to teach medical student until the late Renaissance (1600s)

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Ambroise Pare (1510 -1590)

Pare was a French barbour surgeon who speant 20 years as an army surgeon on the battlefields.

Surgery was often brutal, open wounds and amputations were sealsed by a cauterising iron and gunshots had boiling oil poured into them which was extremely painful.

G - Pare discovered a new way to treat gunshot wounds using a soothing ointment of egg yolk, turpentine and rose oil. He only disscovered this as a result of chance, he'd ran out of the boiling oil previously used and had to improvise

L - He replaced the use of a cauterising iron with ligatures, these were silk threads that he woud tie around blood vessels to stop bleeding. These dramatically reduced the pain but they were much slower than cauterising the wound and on the battlefield time was a needed resource, also if the thread was dirty it could carry infection deep into the body.

F - Pare designed and built a number of false limbs for wounded soldiers

In addittion Pare wrote 'Ten books on surgery' which became widespread because of the new invention of printing, however, his work was not used by many as he had not had a formal education,also he had not solved the major problems with surgery, pain and infection

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Andreas Vesalius (1514 - 1564)

Galen had been the unquestioned authority over medicine for 1600 years and doctors believed everything he said. Vesalius studied medicine in France and Italy and became professor of surgery at Padua university.

Vesalius produced the first fully illustrated anatomical book on the human body called 'The Fabric of the Human Body'. Vesalius performed many dissections repeating what Galen did but recorded his own notes showing mistakes he had made and published them, his main disscoveries were that:

  • The breastbone is made of three bones not seven
  • There are no invisable holes in the septum 
  • The jawbone is made of one bone not two

Artists in Italy at the time were very interested in detailing the human body and Versalius allowed them to see his dissections so they could illustrate his book. The new invention of printing once again allowed the spread of his new books to be very fast and also insured that no mistakes could be made when coppied. 

Many doctors refused to accept Galen was wrong and said that Vesalius was mistaken. Also his work did not cure anyone and had no practical uses but it did inspire a new era of enquiry.

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William Harvey (1578 - 1657)

Harvey studied medicine in Cambridge and Padua and worked as a doctor in London, he later became doctor to Charles I and was especially interested in the blood and heart. Most of the knowledge about the heart and blood had come from Galen, he had said that the heart was like a machine and used up blood like a fuel that was produced in the liver

Harvey proved the heart acts as pump by

  • Dissecting cold blooded animals whose hearts beat slower
  • Dissecting many human bodies to build knowledge
  • Trying to pump water the opposite against the valves, proved the body is one way system
  • Calculated the amount of blood going into the arteries each hour was equal to 3 times the weight of a man so it has to be the same blood

It is said that new mechanical pumps in London had given Harvey the idea that the heart is a pump

Once again doctors refused to believe Galen was wrong and Harvey could not explain how blood moved between the arteries and veins as a microscopre was needed to see the capilaries so was not as accepted, also his work once again had no practical value, blood groups needed to be disscovered before transfussions could take place.

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Lady Montagu (1689 - 1762)

In the 18th century smallpox was a major killer and there was no real cure in England. this was until in 1718 when Lady Montagu returned returned from watching inoculation in Turkey to get her son innoculated. It had originated from China and India and involved the patient been given the diease through a cut, it was very dangerous and often resulted in death but doctors became very rich from it. 

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Edward Jenner (1749 - 1823)

Jenner became and apprentice to a surgeon at the age of 13 and studied with John Hunter a very famous surgeon. Smallpox at the time was killing 25% of all who caught it this was helped by inoculation but it was not a long term solution.

Jenner noticed that milkmaids who caught cowpox from their cows did not catch smallpox, Jenner spent years observing and recording details of the two diseases and in the 1790's carried out experiment to test his theory that cowpox could inoculate smallpox. In 1796 he inoculated a young boy - James Phipps - with cowpox from a milkmaid, he became ill but soon recovered and six weeks later Jenner infected him with smallpox, the boy showed no reaction to the disease. He recorded the details of his experiment and in 1798 published his work describing the inoculation as a vaccination and 23 other cases.

There was much opposition to vaccinations - The doctors carrying out inoculations would lose lots of money, people believed it was a punishment from god and he could not explain how the vaccination worked.

By 1803 vaccinations were being used in USA and in 1805 Napoleon had the French army vaccinated. In 1802 the government gave him £10,000 and in 1807 another£20,000  to develop his work. In 1852 Vaccination became compulsory in Britain 

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Louis Pasteur (1822 - 1895) D+I

Born in France, Pasteur was a university scientist not a doctor. Before Pasteur's work, people had believed that disease was caused by God or miasma (bad air). The invention of the microscope meant that scientist could now see germs. Therefore a new theory called 'spontaneous generation' came about saying that germs appeared when things rotted or decayed. 

  • In 1857 Louis Pasteur was called in to help the wine industry, their wine was going sour, he said that it was germs that made it sour and this applied to other liquids like milk. He said you could remove the germs by heating them, this became Pasteurisation.
  • In 1861 he published his germ theory. In 1864 he proved it was correct using new conical flasks to prove it. In 1865 he was called in to help the silk industry as a disease was killing all the worms. He proved that the disease was spread by germs in the air. This was the first time germs had been proven to cause disease in animals.

The French had lost the war against Germany and Pasteur wanted to gain some respect for France. He studied chicken cholera between 1897 - 1881 and quickly disscovered the germ that caused it but had no luck finding a vaccination. By chance one of his assistants left some germs open to the air and went on holiday, when he tried these germs he found that it vaccinated the chickens. He had shown how vaccinations work and later found a vaccine for anthrax. He now turned to human diseases and created a working vaccine for rabies, pathing the way for future disscoveries.  

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Robert Koch (1843 - 1910) D+I

Born in Germany Koch was a doctor who became interested in Pasteurs work and begin to study bacteria too, he saw himself as Pasteur's rival and this battle became even more fierce during and after the French and German war where a matter of the country's pride was at stake.

Between 1873 and 1880 Koch worked hard to identify the bacterium that caused individual diseases, he became the first person to identify a disease causing bacterium when he found the anthrax bacterium and he went on to develop a new way of staining bacteria and a new way to grow a group of the same bacteria so they could be photographed and shared.   

Koch was angry when he found out Pasteur had disscovered a vaccination for anthrax thinking that Pasteur had stollen some of his research. He then went on to find a way to stain the tuberculosis bacterium in human tissue and this lead to other scientist going on to find the other disease causing bacteria.

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Paul Ehrlich (1854 - 1915) D+I

Ehrlich was part of Koch's research team and in 1909 he developed the first chemical cure for a disease this was called the 'Magic Bullet' because it only affected the harmful bacteria that caused syphilis.

In the 1930's Gerhard Domagk developed the second magic bullet - Prontosil - to cure blood poisoning. Scientist then disscovered that it was the Sulphonamide chemical that was the importan part in both drugs, this was then used by drug companies to cure many diseases. 

These two drugs mark the first effective cures for people after they had been infected and already had the disease 

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Alexander Fleming (1881 - 1955) D+I

Alexander Flemming was a doctor and scientist was called in durring world war I to study wounded soldiers with streptococci and staphylococci bacteria. They could not be cured at the time and Flemming went back home to investigate further. 

Ten years later in 1928 he found a cure by accident he was working in London and left his wondow open by accident when he went on holiday, when he got back he noticed that mould had grown on one of them, around this the bacteria had been killed.

He investigated the mould and found it to be penecillin and found that if you dilluted it you could use it to kill bacteria without killing cells. However, he did not have the money or speciallist help to carry on his research and turn the mould into a propper drug.  

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Florey and Chain (1938 - 1941) D+I

In 1938 Florey and Chain were researching ways to kill germs, they came across Flemmings article on Penicillin and realised the potential. They went to the government to try get a grant but only got £25 because of the war about to break out, they then went to the American government who gave them enough for 5 years research

They tested it on a policeman dying from septiceamia and initialy it worked and he started to recover but then they ran out and the man died. But this was enough, they had proven that penicillin worked.

In 1941 Florey went to America to ask for more money to fun the production of penicillin. The American government - about to enter the war - realised the potential of penecillin for treating wounded soldiers. They gave $80 million for research and provided interest-free loans to companies manufacturing the equipment needed to produce penicillin. Before long it was being mass produced and on D-Day in 1944 over 2.3 millian doses were available

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Francis Crick and James Watson (1953) D+I

Crick and Watson were two scientists from Cambridge and in 1953 they disscovered the structure of DNA and proved that this was in every humand cell and showed how it passed on information from parents to children.

They had help from a team of scientists with a wide range of skills and knowledge. They had the latest and best equipment, using new technologies such as X-ray photography and improved microscopes. They got a lot of their money from government grants.

Understanding DNA could lead to:

  • Stem cell cures
  • gene theropy 
  • customised drugs 
  • genetic screening or testing 
  • Genetic engineering 
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James Simpson (1811 - 1870) S+A

In 1799 Sir Humphry Davy disscovered that laughing gas made surgery less painful. But, it didn't make the patient unconscious and patients could still be in agony.

In 1846 Ether was first used to send a patient to sleep and it worked. But it irritated the eyes and lungs and was highly flammable

In 1847 James simpson made the major breakthrough while experimenting with many anaesthetics, He disscovered chloroform, it was the first really effective anaesthetic. But, it smelt and tasted horrible and could kill in the wrong quantaties. There was much opposition to chloroform but in 1857 Queen Victoria praised the 'blessed chloroform'. Not all the problems had been fixed though and the 1870's were known as the Black Period of surgery as the death rate increased. However Simpson had addressed one of the major probems with surgery and paved the way for the future.

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Ignaz Semmelweiss

Semmelweiss was a hungarian doctor who worked in Vienna in the 1840's. The number of women dying from infection after childbirth was ridiculously high and semmelweiss spotted a pattern that women being handled by midwives were much less likely to die than those who were handled by medical students who had just come from dissecting corpses. He ordered all doctors to wash their hands before entering the baby ward and the death rate dropped but people thought he was crazy and a fanatic. It was not until Pasteur released his germ theory that Semmelweiss was proven correct.

This was the start of using antiseptics in medicine  

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Joseph Lister (1827- 1912) S+A

In 1867 Lister, an English doctor, showed that infection in surgery was caused by germs. He read Pasteurs work on germ theory and developed the use of carbolic acid to kill germs. He soaked his instruments and dressings in it and used carbolic acid spray to kill germs in the operating theatre. His work changed surgery by promoting the idea of sterile surgery and moved surgery towards the aseptic surgery we have today.

Opposition came from surgeons who still believed speed was the key to surgery, also people who refused to believe Pasteur's germ theory. Not only this, the acid was unpleasent to use and dried out the skin 

By the late 1890's aseptic surgery was happening and surgeons now wore propper gowns, face masks and gloves. 

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Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) S+A

Marie Curie was a polish scientist who disscovered radium which is used to diagnose and treat cancers 

Karl Landsteiner (1868 - 1943) S+A

Landsteiner discovered the existence of blood groups in 1901. This meant that doctors could give transfusions of a compatible blood group to replace that which was lost. However there was no way at this point to store blood - This was solved in World War one, sodium citrate was added to prevent it clotting and later in the war scientists discovered how to seperate and store blood cells ready to use.

By the 1920's surgeons were able to overcome the majour problems with surgery

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Archibald McIndoe (1900 - 1960) S+A

McIndoe was a New Zealander who came to England in 1930, he became Consultant in Plastic Surgery to the Royal Air Force and carried out 4000 operations alone on burns cases. He used skin grafts to reconstruct faces and hands that had been destroyed. His patients set up The Guinea Pig Club open to all those he treated.

Christiaan Bernard (1922 - 2001)

Barnard was a south african heart surgeon and in 1967 he carried out the worlds first heart transplant, his patient survived for another 18 days. Other organ transplants had taken place before and they were only able to happen after drugs to prevent the body rejecting the body were discovered.

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Edwin Chadwick (1800 - 1890) PH

Chadwick was a barrister and social reformer, in the 1830s and 1840s he worked for the 'poor law commision' and believed that the best way for the country to save money for the nation was to in terms of the money spent on poor people was to improve their health. In 1848, he became a member of the National Board of Health.

In 1842, Chadwick punlished his 'Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population'. this said that:The poor lived in dirty, overcrowded conditions which caused lots of illness meaning these people cannot work and become poorer still, this meant that other people had to pay higher taxes to help the poor.

His solution to cut taxes was to: - Improve drainage and sewers - remove refuge from streets and houses - provide clean water supplies - appoint medical officers in each area to check the reforms

Nothing was done due to the high opposition from the rich taxpayers as they would not get the impoovements and the government had a 'laissez faire' attitude. Also Chadwick was arrogant and argumentative so couldn't get people on side. 

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The 1848 Public Health Act

In 1847 Cholera was once again spreading through Europe and fear grew in Britain of many thousands of deaths so the government finally decided to act. The major points from the reform were:

  • A National Board of Health was set up
  • In towns where the death rate was high the government could force local councils to improve the water supplies and sewers
  • Local councils were encouraged to make public health improvements if they wanted to and had the backing of rate-payers
  • Councils were allowed to appoint Medical Officers of Health as well as Local Boards of Health

The problem was that the Act was not compulsory - It encouraged change but did not force it. 


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Dr John Snow (1813 - 1858) PH

Snow was a doctor in London and was the Doctor who gave chloroform to Queen Victoria during childbirth, He was a pioneer in both surgery and Public health. In the 1800s Cholera was a new and deadly water-borne disease. Many believed the disease was caused by Miasma (bad air) but Snow though otherwise.

In 1854 Snow mapped where Cholera victoms lived around the Broad street water pump where ovr 500 people had died in ten days. Snow's evidence proving that the water was causing the disease was so strong that the pump handle was removed and there were no more deaths. It was later revealed that a cesspool was leaking into the drinking water. This method is called Epidemiology - the study of disease and populations.

Snow's water theory was not widely accepted because people still believed in miasma and spontaneous generation, Pasteur had not yet published his germ theory. 

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William Farr (1807 - 1883) PH

Farr was another epidemiologist and regarded as one of the founders of Medical Statistics. From 1837 all births, marriages and deaths had to be recorded by law.

Farr used the stats to map areas with high death rates and looked at the causes, he believed the same things as Chadwick - that poverty and dirt caused poor health

His work shamed some councils into change.

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Joseph Bazalgette (1819 - 1891) PH

During the summer of 1858 temperatures climbed dramatically and there was no rain. This meant that the rivers dried up and caused 'The Great Stink' of 1858. It was most prominent outside the houses of parliment and made MP's realise more change was needed.

Bazalgette had spent his early career in the railway industry gaining expperience on the large engineering projects. He was called in to fix the problems in London, he planned and organised the building of London's sewer system that is still used today. It included:

  • 1100 miles of sewers connecting each street to the main sewers
  • New oval shaped tunnels that were self cleaning
  • Pump stations to drive the flow of sewage along the pipes

The core of the work was completed by 1865 but took another ten years to complete. Bazalgette had looked ahead and forecast the growth of the population and made sure the sewers were big enough for the 1870s and 80s.


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Octavia Hill (1832 - 1912)

Hill was another social reformer who began to teach poor children at just 14. She wa appalled by their homes and in 1865 bought 3 slum houses and cleaned them up showing how cleanliness can help health and how to stop overcrowdng.

Over time she improved over 2000 houses to a much higher standard of cleanliness. She put pressure on the goverrnment to make changes to public health provision, especially in housing. Her influence led to the passing of the Artisans' Dwelling Act, giving concils the power to knock down slums on health grounds.   

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The Public Health act of 1875

In 1867 working men in towns were given the vote for the first time, this doubled the amount of people that could vote and in 1884 when working men in rural areas were given the vote it increased again. This meant that MP's now had to try win votes off the poor aswell as the rich.

In 1875 another Public Health Act was published which:

  • Forced councils to provide clean water, public toilets and proper drains and sewers
  • Forced  councils to appoint a Medical Officer of Health to inspect facilities
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Charles Booth (1840 - 1916) PH

Booth was a friend of Hill and knew that poverty was a huge problem in Liverpool and that it was affecting peoples health but did not believe experts when they said that a quater of London was in poverty.

In 1886, Booth started to collect data on poverty in East London renting rooms and spending weeks in the area. His findings said that 35% of the people were living in poverty. He argued that the government had to take responsibilty for people living in poverty and suggested an old age pension.

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Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree (1871 - 1954) PH

By 1900 public health had 'started' to change but there was still much to do. Rowntree investigated poverty and living conditions in York where his family had been in business for many years. In 1901 he published ' Poverty: a Study of Town Life' giving evidence that over a quater of people in York were living in poverty.

This led him to increase his own workers' wages and to continue his research and proved that London wasnt the only city affected by poverty. 

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Liberal Government - David Lloyd George

In 1908 - Old age pensions were introduced for people over 70 who did not have enough money to                 live on, This was paid by higher taxes on the well-off

In 1911 - The National Insurance Act was introduced - The government, employer and worker would               all pay into a sickness fund that when a worker became ill would be used to give them 10               shilling a week for up to 26 week with free medical care.

In 1919 - After the war Lloyd George had promised homes fit for heroes, he introduced a new                       Housing Act that said local councils had to provide good homes for working people to                     rent. 250,000 new homes were built.

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William Beverage (1879 - 1963) PH

Beveridge was an economist and an expert on unemployment benefits. He was asked by the Government to write a report on what should be done to improve peoples lives.

The Beveridge Report, 1942 - This was full of Beveridges suggestions including:

  • Setting up a National Health Service free to everyone and paid by taxes
  • Everyone in work had to pay National Insurance which would then be used to pay for benefits whether you were in work or not 
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Aneurin Bevan (1897 - 1960) - NHS PH

Bevan was the son of a coal mine and himself started mining at 13, he had a good understanding of poverty from the unions and became an MP in 1929. He was Minister for Health in the Labour government when the NHS was introuduced. 

In July 1948 the NHS was introduced and people could now get free healthcare. 

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Ancient Greece (1500BC - 300BC)

Disease and Infection

Greek medicine was split into natural and supernatural medicine or Hippocratic and Asclepion medicine. Natural treatmens were promoted by people like Hippocrates and Aristotle. They put emphasis on self-diet and exercise. Herbal remedies used as well as bleeding and purging. Religion also thought to heal - The Asclepioun was a temple to Asclepius the Greek God of healing. If they went to the temple they would be healed by Him, Hygeia and Panacea and Asclepious' snake. Priests would give medicines, prayers and offerings. Votive stones were donated to the god.

Surgery and Anatomy 

They once had sharper metals for more precise surgery, wine and vinegar used as antiseptics. there were many was so surgeons got practice. Human dissection was allowed in Alexandria from 331BC

Public Health 

Emphasis was on self to clean and stay healthy, streets were dirty and crowded. Diet and exercise were encouraged by doctors but not govenment, Asclepia used for healing.

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Ancient Rome (400BC - 500AD)

Disease and Infection 

Religion still played a part in Roman medicine, there were still Asclipia and other large temples. Diet and exercise still encouraged as well as herbal remedies. Galen's new Opposites theory filled the natural side of medicine

Surgery and Anatomy

Galen encouraged doctors to dissect as much as possible but human dissection was banned for religious reasons apart from in Alexandria. Galen made many discoveries about the human body but not all of them were right. Opium was used as a mild anaesthtic

Public Health

The Romans were the first people to plan and carry out a programme of health, only building away from swamps and marshes helped stop disease. Roman's used aqueducts, water pipes, Drinking fountains, Bathhouses, Toilets and sewers. The Romans did this as they needed healthy slaves, merchants and armies to create a strong empire like theirs .But the baths often spread disease as did the sewers and they could not stop epidemics and pluages - Galen''s plague

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The middle ages (500AD - 1500)

Disease and Infection

They started with the dark ages where everything collapsed and pretty much all knowledge was lost. The church dominated Europe during this time setting up hospitals for prayers run by nuns and only teaching Galen to students as it fit their ideas. They also preserved his Knowledge. At the same time the Islamic faith set up hospitals that provided propper medical care and prayers. No one had any ideas on what caused the black death or how to treat it, Killed 30% - 60% of Europes population. Germans blamed the Jews others God and the planets. Urine charts now used and astrology dictated when to do a treatment, women did most treatments at home

Surgery and Anatomy 

Surgeons were looked down upon by people but doctors did study did study anatomy simply listening to Galen being read in demonstrations not actually testing him. wars gave plenty of opporunity to practice 

Public Health 

Rulers only cared about land and war not PH, streets were dirty and had animals in them.

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The Renaissance (1400 - 1700)

Disease and Infection 

There were no really big changes but there was a reduction in church power and Galen was challenged by Paracelsus

Surgery and Anatomy 

Surgery started to improve, tumours started to be removed and amputations hapened. Mainly Barbour surgeons at war. Scientific study resumed and Galen began to be challanged.

Public Health

Plague returned as towns were still overcrowded and full of dirt but the Great Fire of London in 1666 finally removed the plague as London was rebuilt with better planning.

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Women in Medicine

Mary Seacole (1805 - 1881)

Born in Jamacia, Seacole became a skilled healer and midwife travelling around Europe. In 1854 she travelled to Britain to volunteer her services to the army but she wasnt accepted. She set up her 'British Hotel' providing food drinks and medicine to the soldiers in Crimea. She had no lasting effect.

Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910)

Florence was born into a wealthy family and trained as a nurse in Germany before returning to work in London. In 1854 the Crimean war broke out and she was asked to go out with 38 nurses to run a hospital. They were appaled by the unhygienic conditions and cleaned it up and even got a ward rebuilt. After six months the hospital's death rate fell from 40% to 2%. When she returned to England she set up a training school for nurses. In 1860 she published 'Notes on Nursing' providing the basis for training throughout the country.

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Women in Medicine 2

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821 - 1910)

Blackwell was born in England but had to train in America to qualify as a doctor. In 1849 she returned fully qualified meaning that she could practise as a doctor, she was the only woman on the list of doctors as women were not allowed to train in England. She inspired others to go and train elsewhere

Elizabeth Garret Anderson (1836 - 1917)

When she tried to train as a doctor no university would accept her because she was a woman. She was tutored privately and in 1865 passed the Apothecaries (chemist) exam. She was the first woman to do so but was not able to work as a hospital doctor so she learnt French and studied at the University of Paris where she gained her degree in 1869, still she was not accepted to practise in England.

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