Doctors: The Biography of Medicine

Doctors: The Biography of Medicine

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by Sherwin B. Nuland
     
 

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How does medical science advance? Popular historians would have us believe that a few heroic individuals, possessing superhuman talents, lead an unselfish quest to better the human condition. But as renowned Yale surgeon and medical historian Sherwin B. Nuland shows in this brilliant collection of linked life portraits, the theory bears little resemblance to the truth… See more details below

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Overview

How does medical science advance? Popular historians would have us believe that a few heroic individuals, possessing superhuman talents, lead an unselfish quest to better the human condition. But as renowned Yale surgeon and medical historian Sherwin B. Nuland shows in this brilliant collection of linked life portraits, the theory bears little resemblance to the truth.

Through the centuries, the men and women Who have shaped the world of medicine have been not only very human people but also very much the products of their own times and places. Presenting compelling studies of great medical innovators and pioneers, Doctors gives us the extraordinary story of the development of modern medicine -- told through the lives of the physician-scientists whose deeds and determination paved the way. Ranging from the legendary Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, to Andreas Vesalius, whose Renaissance masterwork on anatomy offered invaluable new insight into the human body, to Helen Taussig, founder of pediatric cardiology and co-inventor of the original "blue baby" operation, here is a volume filled with the spirit of ideas and the thrill of discovery. Says The New York Times, "Doctors can be warmly recommended. Dr. Nuland succeeds in bringing his subjects vividly to life, and he leaves you with a much better understanding of what they achieved."


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To tell the story of medicine since Hippocrates and Galen, Nuland, a surgeon and faculty member of the Yale School of Medicine, focuses on the personalities and careers of medical innovators since the 16th century who epitomized the scientific climate and culture of their period. His enthusiastic and anecdote-rich narrative ranges from Vesalius, whose magnificently illustrated text on anatomy reflected the Renaissance rediscovery of the human body, to Barnard's high-tech heart transplants and other organ-replacement surgery of today. Medical landmarks include Harvey's charting of the circulatory system, Laennec's invention of the diagnostic stethoscope, and the discovery of germs and antisepsis by Pasteur and Lister. Nuland also notes contributions by Americans (Halsted and Cushing among them), as well as advances in transfusions, anesthesia, medical training and surgery. Having documented the transition of doctors from personal healers to reductionist technicians concerned primarily with disease, he welcomes efforts by today's physicians to return to a more humanistic approach. (May)
Library Journal
An historical outline develops as Nuland (Yale School of Medicine) examines the biographies of significant doctors engaged in the art and science of medicine. He considers philosophical and ethical issues fundamental to medicine's evolution, from antecedents of the Hippocratic oath to transplant technology. More than a biographical historiography, his book reaffirms the art of doctor-patient reltionships, while underscoring technical advances in science. Sir William Osler's observation that history is the ``silent influence of character on character'' best summarizes the essence of this outstanding book. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Mary Hemmings, McGill Univ. Medical Lib., Montreal
From the Publisher
"An erudite history of medicine...a welcome addition to any medical collection." -- Booklist

"Eloquent, informed, deeply committed." -- Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307807892
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/19/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
338,179
File size:
6 MB

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