"Above all, do no harm" -Hippocrates
In school we learned the familiar history of medicine-sound science, learned doctors and lifesaving advances. But that's not how it happened...
From the ancient Greeks to the time of Lincoln, medicine actually did more harm than good. Greek physicians of twenty five hundred years ago were at least as competent, and surely less destructive, than the doctor/astrologers of the Middle Ages, or the pompous windbags of the Renaissance, or, worst of all, the medical wrecking balls of medicine's "Heroic Age", not so long ago. Only in the 20th century did medicine finally regain its stride, too late for most.
My new book, Strange Medicine: A Shocking History of Real Medical Practices Through the Ages, focuses exclusively on real physicians practicing real medicine, and an honor roll of doctors, scientists and dreamers whose twisted thinking and gut-wrenching procedures sent medicine down its winding road to nowhere.
Below is a brief sampling of the medical history your teachers never taught you: