Medical history has been my hobby for many years. I have given a lecture on The Great Discoveries in Medicine to many groups. I have many references and most agree that among the top discoveries are: circulation of blood, the microscope, the germ theory of disease, vaccination, ether (anesthesia), X-Ray, penicillin (antibiotics), and DNA. These discoveries set the stage for modern medicine and the marvels we experience today.
A few days ago, USA Today published what are now considered the 25 top medical events of the past 25 years. Some of the top events are; the obesity epidemic, the move to stop smoking and women stopping their dependence on hormones because of the threat of cancer. The development of several drugs received top honors. Each of the drugs mentioned represented a separate event. These drugs included; Vigra, Prozac, Ritalin, Botox, Sunscreens, and the Statins. Boy, does that tell you something about our society and what is important today. Fortunately, they did mention the recognition of AIDS and the Human Genome Project.
I am almost embarrassed to mention these latest developments in my lecture and will probably just stay with the past. Although the past may not be as colorful and in tune with today’s world, it is more respectable. Sort of like the situation with the churches of today vs. Old Time Religion and the schools of today vs. those of the 50s.