The Medical Book: From Witch Doctors to Robot Surgeons, 250 Milestones in the History of Medicine, by Clifford A. Pickover. I snatched this book up the last time I was browsing the stacks at Barnes & Noble and I couldn’t be more pleased. Mr. Pickover does an excellent job of detailing the history and development of medicine over the course of human civilization and of presenting it in a highly readable and enjoyable fashion. As you may know, I’m a physician and I still managed to learn an awful lot about the history of my profession from this work. The artwork and images greatly add to the book and are to be found on every other page, artwork and images that range from ancient skulls with trepanation wounds, to prosthetic eyes, to acupuncture charts. The author also does a great job of presenting the evolution of medicine in both the West and the East, spending a fair amount of time on traditional Indian and Chinese medicine and even devoting substantial portions of the book to the historical contexts of various forms of alternative medicine. I highly recommend this book. My only complaint is that it is a little bit pricey at ~$30 for a new copy–try to get a used copy that is in good condition instead.
Dr. Leonardo Noto
Author: Intrusive Memory, The Life of a Colonial Fugitive, and The Cannabinoid Hypothesis.
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