Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Meyer Friedman and Gerald W. Friedland, 249 pp, with illus, $30, ISBN 0-300-07598-7, New Haven, Conn, Yale University Press, 1998.
Perhaps it's a millennial thing—the publication of lists of "best" or "greatest" achievements. We now have the 10 greatest discoveries in medicine (not, strictly speaking, "medicine's discoveries," as asserted in the title). After describing a rather rigorous process of selection, the authors relate their choices in considerable detail.
Although the book seems primarily directed toward a general readership, it will certainly appeal to health professionals. Each chapter includes a description of the circumstances surrounding various scientific discoveries along with personal sketches of the discoverers, their predecessors, and, occasionally, their detractors. The volume is a series of self-contained vignettes, which, taken in their entirety, provide a sort of overview of medical progress during the past five centuries.
DiscoveriesMedicine's Ten Greatest Discoveries. JAMA. 1999;281(15):1437. doi:10.1001/jama.281.15.1437