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Books, Journals, New Media
September 20, 2000

Medical MillenniumThe Medical Millennium: 1000 Pioneers Who Have Contributed to the Development of Medicine Over the Last 1000 Years

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2000;284(11):1445-1446. doi:10.1001/jama.284.11.1445-JBK0920-4-1

This slender volume consists of one- and two-sentence descriptions of 1000 "men and women who have made an especially notable contribution to medical advances" over the past 1000 years. Photographs of approximately one in ten are included.

When I considered how to evaluate this compendium, two questions occurred. First, what were the selection criteria? Second, what was included for those who were chosen? I found little to be critical of regarding who was included—almost everybody who was anybody, including all the Nobel laureates in medicine. I selected five reasonably well-known names off the top of my head: Paracelsus, Walter Reed, William Osler, Joseph Lister, and Ignaz Semmelweis. Each is featured, and each person's reference accurately gives his complete name and life dates. But the brief description that follows seems cursory. That brevity is my chief criticism of this work.

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