They invented medecine
This is a wide-ranging, epic account that depicts most of those who, in various ways, invented techniques to explore and treat the human body - usually through hard labour and often in defiance of the prejudices of the church, all-powerful elders or sceptical peers. Some are very famous: William Harvey for blood circulation, Laennec for auscultation, Pasteur for having got rid of rabies, the Curies... Others are less well known: Jenner for the smallpox vaccination (discoverd using cowpox, vacca being the Latin for "cow"), Rontgen and X rays, John Snow who paved the way for epidemiology and many others whose names are set out there.
This is not however, a historical book. Divided into health-related themes, this remarkable work is also an invitation to return to ancient practices that allowed the sick to find confidence and hope. Having competent tests and treatments is not enough: patients also need to be encouraged to participate in their own health and healing - and doctors have to be given the means to do so by transforming a health system that has been overtaken by progress to the cost of the "human". According to the author, it is possible - good news for all readers !
Professor of neurology Bernard Guiraud-Chaumeil was head of department at Purpan university hospital, Toulouse, and dean of the faculty of medicine in thaht city. Today he is a mamber of the executive of the French Health Authority where he is president of the committee evaluating medical devices.
Publication date: April 2016
Rights available: world