15 milestones to modern medicine

Because you never know when you will end up on Jeopardy, I like to point out the things I find which can fill your head with the useless trivia you need to succeed. The latest of these findings is this write-up on The Guardian of the British Medical Journal’s top 15 milestones on the path to modern medicine.

1 Anaesthesia

Revolutionised surgery. By the end of the 19th century, anaesthesia had become a symbol for the wider humanitarian movement. It remains the most vivid example of medicine’s capacity to diminish human suffering.

Unfortunately, it has no lasting effect on diminishing human suffering due to marriage.

7 Germ theory

Realisation that germs carried on the hands of doctors could transmit lethal infections to women in labour by Ignaz Semmelweis in Vienna in 1847 became the accepted germ theory of disease. At the end of the 19th century, infection caused 30% of deaths. By the end of the 20th century it caused less than 4%.

I just thought that was a pretty cool statistic.

11 The pill

The oral contraceptive brought about a social as well as a medical revolution and had huge benefits for women. It was the first potent drug to be taken by millions of healthy people and the active ingredient is virtually unchanged.

Thanks to the pill, both times my wife and I have sex (with each other) every year, her chances of pregnancy are less. Cool. (via Sigma Xi’s Science in the news newsletter – subscribe and you can smartify yourself like I have)

[tags]Modern medicine milestones[/tags]