Against the backdrop of unprecedented concern for the future of health care, this Very Short Introduction surveys the history of medicine from classical times to the present. Focussing on the key turning points in the history of Western medicine, such as the advent of hospitals and the rise of experimental medicine, Bill Bynum offers insights into medicine’s past, while at the same time engaging with contemporary issues, discoveries, and controversies.
- Assesses the origins and development of medicine in ancient times, through the scholastic medieval tradition and the Enlightenment, to the present day
- Takes a thematic approach, as each chapter introduces a new turning point in medical history, be it the advent of hospitals or the rise of experimental medicine
- Sheds a historical light on contemporary medical concerns and controversies
- Focuses on Western medicine, but also explores its encounters with alternative traditions such as Chinese and Indian medicine, and modern complementary medicine