history

The Gory, Gruesome and Grisly History of Surgery

British surgeon James Young Simpson summed up a 19th-century patient’s chances of survival in one pithy and pitiful statement: “A man laid on the operating table in one of our surgical hospitals is exposed to more chance of death than was the English soldier on the field of Waterloo.” And he was right. Until the…

American microbiologistMaurice Hilleman

The Man Who Saved the World With Vaccines

In the spring of 1957, American microbiologist Maurice Hilleman read an article in The New York Times that left him greatly alarmed. “It said that there were all these children taken into dispensaries in Hong Kong, twenty thousand people lined up,” he said, describing the hospital scene in China in an interview years later. “My…

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