Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Brief History of Surgery

For this History of Science class, our final exam can take the form of a research project/experiment. For mine, I am planning on delving into a research project with one of the pediatric urology surgeons I work with at U of M's hospital.

I have always been fascinated by the history of surgery, and how it has evolved over the years, so I thought I would share some of the more interesting parts with the readers of this blog.

Surgeons and doctors were considered very different in the Middle Ages: doctors went to university and got a degree to practice medicine, while surgeons were apprentices, and learned their trade through practice. Surgeons were called Mr. _______ instead of Dr. _________. One of the surgeons I work with practiced in England, and still has his nameplate that says Mr. _________.

Surgeons' primary responsibilities were pulling teeth and setting broken/dislocated bones.

Aseptic techniques for surgery were developed by Joseph Lister in 1867 with his book Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery.

Surgery is often advanced during war, when desperate times call for desperate measures. For example, amputations were experimented with during wartime, especially in the Civil War.

There are many others to check out if you are left curious by this post. Surgery is a fascinating field, and advancements are constantly being made to make surgeries safer and more comfortable for patients.

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