History of Medicine

Topics: Smallpox, Medicine, Human anatomy Pages: 3 (1020 words) Published: June 7, 2013
Throughout the history of medicine, many innovations have occurred that impacted the world and vastly transformed the future of medicine. In my opinion, the four most important innovations in medicine are Vesalius’s book and view on anatomy, inoculation and vaccination, the microscope, and MRIs and CAT scans. The 16th century contained some of the greatest innovations of all time; one in particular was Vesalius’s anatomy book, De humani corporis fabrica. Vesalius’s book was the first medical book in which illustrations were more important than the text (Bynum, 29). Within the book were elaborately detailed illustrations of the human body and the components within it. These illustrations not only disproved Galen’s explanation of the human body, but also described anatomical structures accurately for the first time (Bynum, 30). Knowing the anatomy of the body accurately is vital for etiology, surgery and diagnosis. If you do not understand the body and how it works, than it is virtually impossible to correctly identify or diagnose, and the likelihood of an effective cure is rare. Vesalius changed the approach doctors originally had about the human body and the approach on medicine. Vesalius’s illustrations showed where organs were correctly located, which advanced surgical operations, and also allowed for better determination for etiology. With this knowledge gained, doctors became more capable of diagnosing and prescribing accurate medicine. Vesalius’s book of anatomy was the greatest innovation at the time because it became the root and foundation for all future medical innovations. Once understanding the human anatomy and how it works, we can begin curing diseases. In the 18th century innovations sparked up, such as inoculation and vaccination, which significantly impacted society. During this time period there was a massive universal outbreak of smallpox with a significant mortality ranging, according to circumstances, between 5% and 20% (Bynum, 72)....
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