By J.C. McKeown

There are few disciplines as interesting and forward-looking as medication. regrettably, notwithstanding, many glossy practitioners have overlooked the origins in their self-discipline. A cupboard of historic clinical Curiosities aspires to healing this lapse by way of taking readers again to the early days of Western drugs in historic Greece and Rome. Quoting the particular phrases of historical authors, usually from texts that have by no means sooner than been translated into English, J. C. McKeown bargains a desirable glimpse on the origins of surgical procedure, gynecology, pediatrics, pharmacology, vitamin and foodstuff, and plenty of different fields of drugs.

This booklet beneficial properties countless numbers of passages from Greek and Roman authors, with mild assistance from McKeown, giving a vividly direct photo of the traditional clinical international, an international within which, for instance, a physician needed to be strong-minded sufficient to disregard the screams of his sufferer, illnesses have been assumed to be despatched by way of the gods, medication and magic have been usually indistinguishable, and no skills have been required ahead of atmosphere oneself up as a physician. nonetheless, McKeown finds that a few historic clinical attitudes have been additionally unusually just like our personal. past the perform of medication, McKeown highlights old perspectives on known subject matters, equivalent to clinical ethics and the function of the healthcare professional in society. a desirable exploration of the unusual - and infrequently gruesome - scientific ideals of the prior, A cupboard of historic clinical Curiosities will pride somebody with an curiosity within the background of drugs or the traditional world.

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2 Ladder therapy. patients by any such 31 The Doctor in Society 31 methods, given that they are associated particularly with charlatans (Hippocrates Joints 42). Of all arts, medicine is the most splendid. But, because of the ignorance of those who practice it and of those who criticize them so arbitrarily, it is nowadays the least reputable of all arts. The main reason for this error of judgment seems to me to be that medicine is the only profession for which no penalty is laid down for incompetence other than loss of reputation, and that does no harm to those who have no reputation to lose.

Out of the question! 6). What harm would it do if incompetent medical practitioners got what they deserve? As things are, it is their innocent patients who suffer, as if the violence of their illness were not enough for them without the inexperience of their doctor as well (Hippocrates Precepts 1). You imagine that, by owning a large number of books, you will impress people and compensate for your lack of education. What you do not 33 The Doctor in Society 33 appreciate is that this is just how really ignorant doctors act: they equip themselves with ivory medicine boxes, silver cupping-​glasses, and lancets with gold handles, but when they actually have to put them to use, they do not even know how to hold them properly; then along comes a doctor who really knows his stuff and relieves the patient’s suffering with a lancet that is covered in rust but has a very well sharpened blade (Lucian The Ignorant Book Collector 29).

42 42 A Cabinet of Ancient Medical Curiosities A doctor who is also a philosopher is equal to a god. The difference between medicine and philosophy is slight, for all the qualities needed for the pursuit of wisdom are inherent in medicine: a lack of interest in money respect modesty restraint sound opinions good judgment composure determination integrity a pithy manner of speaking Both the physician and the philosopher understand what is useful and necessary in life; both purge us of uncleanliness; both are free from superstition; both have god-​given superiority; both use their talent against intemperance, against vulgarity, against greed, against lust, against theft, against shamelessness (Hippocrates Decorum 5).

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