History of Medicine
Dark & Middle Ages (400 AD –
1400 AD)

Custodial care with
treatment by bleeding,
herbs, & prayer
 o Widespread
tuberculosis and syphilis
 Punctuated by epidemics
 o Bubonic plague
 o Smallpox
 o Diphtheria
Renaissance (1350-1650 AD)
Building of Universities
around common Libraries
built from texts translated
from Arabic back into Latin.
Universities organized
around seminaries and
medical schools.
 Re-emergence of science
and the importance of
publishing along with the
invention of the printing
press
 The debate over dissection
 Continuing epidemics
16th & 17th Centuries (1500-1700
AD)
 Human anatomy
accurately described by
Leonardo da Vinci
 Body circulation first
described by William
Harvey
 Microscope invented by
Antoine van
Leeuwenhoek
th
18
Century (1700-1800 AD)
 Change in medical teaching
to include observation of
patients and autopsies in
addition to lectures and labs
with dissections. Autopsies
led to better understanding of
causes of disease.
 Stethoscope invented by
Laennec
 Joseph Priestly discovers
oxygen and its role in
respiration
 Edward Jenner discovers
vaccination as a method of
prevention for smallpox
th
19
Century (1800-1900 AD)
 Connection between
disease of childbed fever
and dirty hands established
 Microorganisms linked to
disease by Louis Pasteur,
and the pasteurization
process was introduced
 Joseph Lister applied
carbolic acid to kill germs
in wounds – first antiseptic
 First sterile or asepsis
environment for surgery
developed by Ernst von
Bergmann
 Robert Koch, the father of
microbiology, discovers
many disease causing
organisms and furthers the
need for cleanliness and
sanitation in preventing the
spread of contagious
disease
 1895 -- x-rays discovered
by Wilhelm Roentgen,
important diagnostic tool
 Paul Ehrlich uses
chemicals as medicines
and discovers that
chemicals are effective
on some
microorganisms but
not others.
 Sigmund Freud, father
of modern psychology
and psychiatry,
established the
connection between
mind and body and
established the
presence of
psychosomatic illness
20th Century (1900-2000 AD)
 Sulfa compounds discovered to
effectively kill many bacterias.
Alexander Fleming found
penicillin to work better.
 Virus discovered
 Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin
develop a new but opposite
methods of vaccination and
effective immunizations for polio.
These methods lead to
immunizations for other diseases
 Watson & Crick discover the
molecular structure of DNA
which opens the field for
identification and treatment of
inherited illnesses