Download Germ Theory: Medical Pioneers in Infectious Diseases by Robert Gaynes PDF

By Robert Gaynes

From Hippocrates to Lillian Wald—the tales of scientists whose paintings replaced the best way we predict approximately and deal with an infection.

  • Describes the genesis of the germ thought of affliction by means of a dozen seminal thinkers similar to Jenner, Lister, and Ehrlich.
  • Presents the “inside tales” of those pioneers’ struggles to have their paintings authorised, that can tell suggestions for tackling present crises in infectious illnesses and inspire and help today’s scientists.
  • Relevant to a person attracted to microbiology, infectious affliction, or how scientific discoveries form our glossy realizing

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Sample text

As physicians, we must fall back on experience, both our own and that of other physicians. The Hippocratic physicians recognized the importance of this collective knowledge, with some caveats, in one of the most famous of all aphorisms handed down from this period. Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting, experience delusive, and judgment difficult. (1) The insight into the practice of medicine from this 2,500-year-old statement is extraordinary. That medicine requires more knowledge than any one physician can amass in a lifetime is clear to anyone who has tried to practice it.

While over 70 surviving volumes of writings are attributed to him, historians have determined that different authors actually wrote these texts. Because of the authorial uncertainty, the collective works have been called the Hippocratic Corpus or body of work, and the physicians who practiced the art, the Hippocratic physicians. For unassailable fact, we know almost nothing of Hippocrates’ life. We do know that Hippocrates was born in 460 BCE on the island of Cos, off the coast of present-day Turkey, but that’s about it.

Since Hippocratic medicine focused on the prognosis, syndromes with similar symptoms became diseases. To the Hippocratic physician, fever was a disease. There were multiple febrile diseases, each with characteristics that forecast the prognosis. , quartian (every fourth day) or tertian (every third day), were all descriptions of febrile diseases. ” These pithy statements demonstrate so much of the Hippocratic mode of medicine. Fever was a diagnosis that was carefully correlated with other symptoms to project the all-important prognosis.

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