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Books, Journals, New Media
October 4, 2000

HistoryDates in Medicine: A Chronological Record of Medical Progress Over Three Millennia

Author Affiliations
 

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

 

Not Available

 

edited by Anton Sebastian, 436 pp, with illus, $58, ISBN 1-85070-095-8, New York, NY, Parthenon Publishing, 2000.

JAMA. 2000;284(13):1714. doi:10.1001/jama.284.13.1714-JBK1004-5-1

One of the first questions that occurred to me as I perused this interesting book was how in the world did the editor compile such a volume—how did he amass such an assortment of faces, facts, and figures? The foreword gives no clue, and there is neither an introduction nor acknowledgments. My curiosity was piqued.

The book is more than 400 pages long with about 14 entries per page, totaling more than 4900 entries for the period 8000 BCE to 1999 CE. Beginning with the year 1500 CE, following the invention of the printing press, when medical discovery really began to heat up, there are entries for every year. Many subsequent years have multiple entries. Some citations for certain years (of particular note to me as a surgeon) are 22 for 1822 (the year of Pasteur's birth); 16 for 1827 (the year Lister was born); 32 for 1894 (the birth year of Hamilton Bailey); and 34 for 1910 (the year H. C. Jacobaeus of Stockholm described using a modified cystoscope to view the interior of the thorax—thoracoscopy! What else is new?).

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