Alarming History of Medicine: Amusing Anecdotes from Hippocrates to Heart Transplants

Overview

Delightfully witty and richly informative, The Alarming History of Medicine is a collection of anecdotes describing how the historical breakthroughs in medicine were really made. Using hilarious stories, based on actual facts, Richard Gordon shows that most of the monumental discoveries were originally accidents.

A must-read for hypochondriacs, doctors, medical students, and anyone fascinated by the world of medicine, The Alarming History of ...

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Overview

Delightfully witty and richly informative, The Alarming History of Medicine is a collection of anecdotes describing how the historical breakthroughs in medicine were really made. Using hilarious stories, based on actual facts, Richard Gordon shows that most of the monumental discoveries were originally accidents.

A must-read for hypochondriacs, doctors, medical students, and anyone fascinated by the world of medicine, The Alarming History of Medicine is clever, revealing—and all true.

Describes how historical breakthroughs in medicine were made using anecdotes based on actual facts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[An] instructive, entertaining lode of superstitions and facts."—Publishers Weekly

"Gordon deals wittily and informatively with the past as well as the present in this set of anecdotes on some of medicine's great achievements and achievers."--Booklist

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Best known for his novels, particularly Doctor in the House , Gordon here presents unusual insights into medical advances. Although noting that ``Religion is of course a Good Thing, offering the valuable incidentals of saddling assertive man with someone more important than himself . . . it scuppered healing for fifteen centuries.'' That being the case, Gordon's irreverent, witty and rich florilegium of medical milestones is largely confined to the last couple of centuries. He demonstrates that many medical milestones resulted from fallacies, luck or serendipity--citing the role of barbers and warfare in promoting surgery--and that forgotten laboratory bacterial specimens led to a cholera vaccine and the discovery of penicillin. According to Gordon, Darwin, a non-doctor, ``founded genetics knowing nothing about DNA,'' and industrial chemist Pasteur stumbled on the microbes leading to pasteurization and vaccination while investigating adulterated wine and beer. The instructive, entertaining lode of superstitions and facts inludes hilarious suggested origins for the word condom and an apt takeoff on Freud treating a patient. Illustrations. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312167639
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Gordon is a doctor who has written over forty books on or about medicine, including the famous Doctor in the House series. Dr. Gordon lives in London.

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