|Highlights in Medical History
will open in a new window
ca. 8000 B.C. Prehistoric man
practiced trephining -- the first-known
ca. 2500 B.C. Egyptian physicians
developed the first systematic methods of treating
ca. 400s B.C. Hippocrates showed that diseases have
only natural, not supernatural, causes.
ca. A.D. 100s Galen formulated the first medical
theories based on scientific experimentations.
1100s The first university medical
schools developed in Europe.
1543 Andreas Vesalius published On
the Fabric of the Human Body, the first scientific
study of human anatomy.
mid-1500s Ambroise Parť introduced advanced
1628 William Harvey founded modern physiology
with his book on blood circulation.
1676 Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovered
bacteria, which helped lead to the germ theory of
1736 The world's first successful
appendectomy (to be recorded in history) was performed.
Jenner gave the first officially recognized
vaccination, against smallpox.
1800 Bichet founded the field of histology,
the study of tissues.
1816 The stethoscope was invented by LaŽnnec.
1822 Beaumont published a description of
the digestive process.
Long and William T.G. Morton introduced the use
of ether, the first practical anesthestic.
1847 The American Medical Association
Nightingale founded the modern nursing profession.
1850s Rudolf Virchow pioneered in pathology,
the scientific study of diseases.
mid- to late 1800s Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch firmly established that
certain bacteria cause certain diseases.
Lister introduced antiseptic methods to surgery.
1866 The clinical thermometer was
invented by Allbut.
1870 Dr, John M. Woodsworth was
appointed the first Surgeon General of the United States.
1884 Klebs-Loeffler discovered the
bacteria responsible for diptheria.
1885 Louis Pasteur developed a vaccine
1894 The bacteria responsible for the
bubonic plague was discovered by Yersin.
1895 Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays, used
in diagnosing diseases and treating cancer
1898 Pierre and Marie
Curie discovered radium, used in treating cancer.
ca. 1900 Sigmund Freud developed the
psychoanalytic method of treating mental illness.
early 1900s Christiaan Eijkman and
Frederick G. Hopkins demonstrated the existence of
Reed determined that yellow fever was spread by
1903 The Mayo
Clinic was formally established.
1906 August Paul von Wasserman developed
a test for syphilis.
ca. 1910 Paul Ehrlich introduced chemotherapy,
the use of chemicals to destroy the microbes responsible
for particular diseases.
1928 Alexander Fleming discovered
penicillin, the first antibiotic drug.
1935 Gerhard Domagk discovered the
ability of sulfa drugs to cure infections in animals.
early 1950s The development of new
techniques and devices revolutionized heart surgery.
early 1950s Jonas Salk developed the first
successful polio vaccine.
1954 American surgeons transplanted a
kidney -- the first successful organ transplant.
1963 Michael DeBakey implanted the first
artifical heart into a human.
1967 Christiaan Barnard performed the
first successful human heart transplant.
or comments about this page?