Turning points in the history of medicine

Hippocrates develops the theory of the four humour

Hippocrates develops the theory of the four humours

Date

5th/4th century BC

Summary

Ideas about natural causes of disease are now as important and common as supernatural. 

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Hippocrates develops clinical observation

Hippocrates Develops Clinical Observation

Date

5th/4th century BC

Summary

Doctors have rules to follow and spread their methods. 

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Vesalius makes detailed anatomical drawings

Vesalius makes detailed anatomical drawings

Date

1530s-1560s

Summary

He proved Galen wrong and challenged Greek and Roman ideas by dissection of humans. 

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Pare tries out new surgical methods

Pare tries out new surgical methods

Date

1530s-1560s

Summary

New methods of surgery, written down in books so that the new ideas spread. Ideas do not work very effectively until the development of antiseptics. 

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Harvey studies the heart

Harvey Studies the Heart

Date

1620s-1650s

Summary

Challenge made to Greek and Roman Ideas; proved by experiments. 

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Smallpox Vaccination

Smallpox Vaccination

Date

1790s

Summary

Prevention of the infectious disease smallpox. Leads to vaccinations against other diseases. 

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Pasteur develops germ theory

Pasteur develops germ theory

Date

1860s

Summary

Once the link between germs and disease is proved and understood, developments became possible. 

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Simpson develops anaesthetics

Simpson develops Anaesthetics

Date

1840s

Summary

More complex operations are possible. 

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Lister develops effective antiseptics

Lister develops effective antiseptics

Date

1860s

Summary

Antiseptics mean that operations are now a safe way to treat illness and injury rather than a last resort. 

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Nightingale improves hospitals and nursing practic

Nightingale improves hospitals and nursing practices

Date

1850s

Summary

Clean hospitals means that people who visit hospital do not die. No longer a last resort.

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Public Health Act 1875

Public Health Act 1875

Date

1875

Summary

Conditions in towns are cleaner which leads to the end of disease, and later on to improvments in living conditions-housing, ect. 

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Ehrlich creates the magic bullet

Ehrlich creates magic bullet

Date

1911

Summary

Cure for Syphilis. Leads to chemical cures for other diseases. 

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Discovery of penicillin

Discovery of penicillin

Date

1928

Summary

A cure for infectious diseases developed. Most infectious diseases are now treatable with antibiotics. 

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