More than one single professional group deals with therapeutic manipulations of the spine and the joints. Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Naprapaths, Physical Therapists (and a contingent Physicians) all share this interest. Each profession is also very clear about where its bulk of knowledge stems from. The disciplines that are reckoned as the oldest are from the USA. A number of “inventors” are to be found, all without a formal university degree in Medicine. Andrew Taylor Still (1828–1917) came up with his system (...) of Osteopathy in 1874. Daniel D. Palmer (1845–1913), the man behind Chiropractic, founded his system in 1894, and Palmer’s colleague and former student, Oakley Smith (1880–1967), developed Naprapathy in 1906/1907. Physical Therapists working with what is called Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy are on the other hand not claiming American ancestry, nor do their body of knowledge and clinical skills originate from outside the medical profession. It is an offspring of Orthopaedic Medicine (OM) which was an invention by Physicians. Date and place of birth is said to be 1929 in England. This article turns the above-mentioned chronology on its head. It will show that Orthopaedic Medicine likely is the oldest system. It will also unearth OM’s sturdy roots in a strong but forgotten, and even hidden, discourse of Mechanical Medicine found in 19th century Europe, which was ruled by Physical Therapists. Why “we” do not know about this “history” is analysed and explained from a variety of perspectives. (shrink)
A popular saying attributed to Aristotle states that ‘medicine begins where philosophy ends’—but this principle does not seem entirely valid for the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when medicine and philosophy were considered to be integral parts of the same branch of knowledge. For this reason, although today medicine and philosophy are clearly distinct disciplines, historians of ideas cannot study them entirely separately. Indeed, since the early modern era was a period of profound revision of knowledge, (...) probably only a truly interdisciplinary investigation can identify the conceptual shifts and transfers capable of reinstating medicine in its fundamental role in the development of civilisation and modern thought, in particular as a model of a rational knowledge aimed at improving the social good through a fitting interpretation of experience. This article intends to offer arguments in support of such a historiographical approach, and to illustrate certain interesting methodological ideas that emerge from a study in which the history of philosophy and history of medicine cross-pollinate. (shrink)
The principal argument of the present paper is that the human body is as much a reflective formation of multiple discourses as it is an effect of natural and environmental processes. This paper examines the implications of this argument, and suggests that recognizing the body in this light can be illuminating, not only for our conception of the body, but also for our understanding of medicine. Since medicine is itself a discursive formation, a science with both a (...) class='Hi'>history, and a future, it is argued that much can be learned by reflecting on the progression of models, or “paradigm-shifts,”, in terms of which modern medicine has articulated the human body that figures at the heart of its discourse. Four historical periods of medicine will be considered, each one governed by its own distinctive paradigm. It is argued, finally, that, with the emergence of behavioural medicine, and, more particularly, psychoneuroimmunology, a new discursive formation in medicine, one can see a new conceptualization of the human body beginning to take shape; and that this new figure of the body makes it possible for the very first time to conceive the construction of testable hypotheses regarding correlations between the objective body of science and the phenomenological body of experienced meaning. (shrink)
Spanish influence in the New World was particularly acute in the areas of medicine and medical education. From the time of Columbus forward prominent medical experts journeyed to Latin America establishing medical schools and research centers. This essay chronicles the history of Latin America with a strong focus on the physicians and scientists who brought modern scientific medicine, as it wag then known in Western Europe, to the Americas.
History of science and history of medicine are today largely organized as distinct disciplines, though ones widely recognized as interrelated. Attempts to evaluate the extent and nature of their relation have reached varying conclusions, depending in part on the historical period under consideration. This essay examines some characteristics of European medicine from the fifteenth to the early seventeenth century and considers their relevance for the history of science. Attention is given to the range of interests (...) and activities of individuals trained in or practicing medicine, to the impact of changes in natural philosophy, to the role of observation, description, and accumulation of information, and to the exchange of knowledge among the medical community. (shrink)
Although the University of Leeds has attained something of a reputation for the quality of its scholarship in the history of science, few historians are aware of the impressive collection of early scientific and medical books and manuscripts to be found in the University libraries. In order to make the library resources more widely known, we embarked on a systematic survey of the contents of the main historical collections. We wanted not only to give a general impression of the (...) particular strengths and distinctive features of each collection, but also to mention the interesting or rare copies of individual works to be found in them. We have, therefore, examined every book related to the history of science and medicine in the relevant collections, and in doing so we have uncovered a number of important items. For example, we have identified a book which was once in Newton's library, and a previously unrecorded copy of Joseph Black's chemical lectures. More generally, we had not suspected the true size and range of the Chaston Chapman Collection, which makes it a valuable resource for the history of alchemy and early chemistry; nor were we initially aware of the strength of the Historical Collection of the Medical and Dental Library. The wealth of the legacies to the Brotherton and Special Collections also impressed us. (shrink)
In the move to critique managed care, the essential principles that first made it a reasonable alternative to fee-for-service medicine can easily be lost. Careful reflection on the history of early grassroots movements that created managed care, and on selected textual narratives of the founders of the managed care organizations at their inception, offers us insight into which of the critical premises and goals of that effort might be reclaimed as we analyze the current managed care environment.
History of medicine is taught in West Germany as part of the standard course offerings for medical students and is well represented at many universities. But history of science and technology unfortunately still lacks any adequate supporting system and accordingly barely continues to survive at a few institutions of the Federal Republic. Although history of medicine serves a different function than history of science and technology, closer cooperation between these groups is possible and greatly (...) desired for the future. (shrink)
A case-study, small-group-discussion (“focal problem”) exercise in the history of medicine was designed, piloted, and evaluated in an overseas course and an on-campus elective course for medical students. Results suggest that this is a feasible approach to teaching history of medicine which can overcome some of the problems often encountered in teaching this subject in the medical curriculum.
The publication in 1993 by the General Medical Council of Tomorrow's Doctors—Recommendations on Undergraduate Medical Education provided the first real opportunity for many medical schools to advance the introduction of the history of medicine into the undergraduate medical curriculum. While the University of Birmingham Medical School, was not one of the first to introduce the subject, it has been at the forefront of the introduction of the history of medicine into the undergraduate medical curriculum since 1997, (...) and can now boast a number of special study modules in the subject and the second largest intercalated BMedSc degree programme in the country. This article tells the story of why and how we introduced history into the curriculum and how important it is that tomorrow's doctors know something of the history of the profession they are about to enter. (shrink)
This paper discusses the chemistry manuscript collection in an institution that does not readily come to mind when searching for unpublished matter on the history of chemistry, the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. This collection includes personal papers of some twentieth-century American chemists and biochemists, lecture notes of British and American chemistry courses of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries from a variety of institutional settings, and extended oral histories of some major figures in the (...) class='Hi'>history of modern chemistry and biochemistry. Among those represented in this collection are Joseph Black, Louis Pasteur, George B. Wood, Donald D. Van Slyke, and Albert Szent-Györgyi. In addition to illustrating the type of resources available, this paper also suggests some specific ways in which the collection can contribute to research in the history of chemistry. (shrink)
Critically exploring medical thought in a cultural milieu with no discernible influence from the European Enlightenment, _Being Human_ reveals an otherwise unnoticed intersection of early modern sensibilities and religious values in traditional Tibetan medicine. It further studies the adaptation of Buddhist concepts and values to medical concerns and suggests important dimensions of Buddhism's role in the development of Asian and global civilization. Through its unique focus and sophisticated reading of source materials,_ Being Human_ adds a crucial chapter in the (...) larger historiography of science and religion. The book opens with the bold achievements in Tibetan medical illustration, commentary, and institution building during the period of the Fifth Dalai Lama and his regent, Desi Sangye Gyatso, then looks back to the work of earlier thinkers, tracing a strategically astute dialectic between scriptural and empirical authority on questions of history and the nature of human anatomy. It follows key differences between medicine and Buddhism in attitudes toward gender and sex and the moral character of the physician, who had to serve both the patient's and the practitioner's well-being. _Being Human_ ultimately finds that Tibetan medical scholars absorbed ethical and epistemological categories from Buddhism yet shied away from ideal systems and absolutes, instead embracing the imperfectability of the human condition. (shrink)
This deeply informed history traces the controversial record of "mercy-killing," a source of heated debate among doctors and laypeople alike. Dowbiggin examines evolving opinions about what constitutes a good death, taking into account the societal and religious values placed on sin, suffering, resignation, judgment, penance, and redemption. He also examines the bitter struggle between those who stress a right to compassionate and effective end-of-life care and those who define human life in terms of either biological criteria, utilitarian standards, a (...) faith in science, humane medical treatment, the principle of personal autonomy, or individual human rights. Considering both the influence of technological and behavioral changes in the practice of medicine and the public's surprising lack of awareness of death's many clinical and biological dimensions, this book raises profound personal and collective questions on the future of euthanasia. (shrink)
Differing accounts are conventionally given of the origins of medical sociology and its parent discipline of sociology. These distinct ‘histories’ are justified on the basis that the sociological founders were uninterested in medicine, mortality and disease. This article challenges these ‘constructions’ of the past, proposing the theorization of health not as a ‘late development of sociology’ but an integral part of its formation. Drawing on a selection of key sociological texts, it is argued that evidence of the founders’ sustained (...) interest in the infirmities of the individual, of mortality, and in medicine, have been expunged from the historical record through processes of ‘canonization’ and ‘medicalization’. (shrink)
This essay examines historical and contemporary connections between Buddhist and medical traditions through a study of the Accomplishing Medicine ( sman sgrub ) practice and the Yuthok Heart Essence ( G.yu thog snying thig ) anthology. Accomplishing Medicine is an esoteric Buddhist yogic and contemplative exercise focused on several levels of “alchemical” transformation. The article will trace the acquisition of this practice from India by Tibetan medical figures and its assimilation into medical practice. It will propose that this (...) alchemical practice forms the central nexus of connection between Tibetan medicine and the Buddhist Nyingma tradition, and that this little-studied link is not a marginal feature of Tibetan medicine but rather one that has had a significant shaping factor on each tradition throughout history. (shrink)
In 1747, James Lind carried out an experiment which proved the usefulness of citrus fruit as a cure for scurvy. Nonetheless, he rejected the earlier hypothesis of Bachstrom that the absence of fresh fruit and vegetables was the only cause of the disease. I explain why it was rational for James Lind not to accept Bachstrom’s explanation. I argue that it was the urge for scientific understanding that guided Lind in his rejection and in the development of his alternative theory (...) that humidity was the primary cause of the disease. Central in this process was the search for causal mechanisms which could provide understanding of how the disease developed and which fitted in with the knowledge of the time. Given that the relevant background knowledge and statistical methods were not yet available to Lind, he was right to prefer his own explanation to that of Bachstrom. Although his explanation turned out to be wrong, and Bachstrom’s right, from a historical point of view it offered deeper causal understanding of both the development of the disease and the preventive and curative effects of fresh vegetable food. This case study illustrates how the search for causal mechanisms can not only be enlightening, but also very misleading. (shrink)