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October 24, 1990

Diabetes: Its Medical and Cultural History: Outlines-Texts-Bibliography

JAMA. 1990;264(16):2146. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450160116046

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Keeping up with modern medicine consumes so much of our available reading time that reading about the history of medicine might seem to be one of those luxuries that we simply cannot afford. However, von Engelhardt's book on the medical and cultural history of diabetes is a luxury worth considering. It brings new insights not only to our understanding of diabetes, but also to our appreciation of the development of the art and science of medicine in general. Looking back over the 2000year known history of diabetes as a disease process, we can see how scientific thinking gradually evolved and led to the progress we have made in our understanding of diabetes.

The book itself is a collection of essays, written between 1924 and 1978. The essays themselves are of interest from a historical perspective, showing how our approach to medical history has changed during the 20th century. The various