Doctors: The Biography of Medicine

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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 ...

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Doctors: The Biography of Medicine

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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."

"...shows how the art of healing has evolved into the scien- tific treatment of disease. "Doctors" is a fascinating story of the development of modern medicine told through the lives of the physician-scientists whose discoveries pave the way."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An erudite history of medicine...a welcome addition to any medical collection." -- Booklist

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

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679760092
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 519
  • Sales rank: 265,655
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 11, 2010

    Simply Outstanding!!!

    This is an outstanding book!

    Certainly, it is one of the most illustrative ones I have learned, in regards to its theme.

    It places the reader - and doctors in particular, as it is my case - in direct and thrilling contact with how and why many aspects of Medicine are practiced as we know them today.

    Furthermore, it reminds us - doctors - the saga of a number of predecessors in our profession, as well as their achievements and the hardships they had to face to overcome obstacles.

    In case you are into the medical field, have someone close to you who are or would like to give an amazing gift to a friend, please buy this book!

    I can assure that you will be extremely happy with the result!

    Finally, I just would like to point out that I do not work for the editing company of Doctors (as a matter of fact I am a Plastic Surgeon and Head of the Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery Department at the Royal Hospital, in Sharjah, UAE) or have ever had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, so far.

    I am enthusiastic about my comments in regards to the Book Doctors because of its fascinating content, which is so real and interesting, clearly shared, plus due to the fact that I believe that spreading the word of culture should be an obligation we must all fulfill.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Kay

    Thos book is really helpful to show us exactly wat the medicine does and how ot works and the types. I suggest you read this if you wanna become a doctor.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Surgry

    Lakeside hospital

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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