Believe it or not, the use of antiseptics during surgery was not fully practiced until Joseph Lister recognized that pathogens were a danger to patients. In the 19th century, doctors rarely washed their hands until Lister appeared on the scene. During his career, he successfully introduced carbolic acid (now known as phenol) during surgical procedures, saving many lives against the dangers surrounding the introduction of internal pathogens that later caused postoperative infections. You may already know its name, as Listerine, a popular antiseptic mouthwash, can be found in many people's medicine cabinets today.
As we strive to find a vaccine against COVID-19 and other diseases, we should think of Edward Jenner, who created the first smallpox vaccine. While his methods were rudimentary by today's standards, he is often referred to as the father of immunology because of his contributions to this field. It is said that he took liquid from a bovine smallpox blister and scratched it on the skin of an 8-year-old boy, James Phipps. The boy did get a blister on the spot, but he soon recovered, which led to Jenner's work in the area of immunology and immunizations.
He then inoculated the boy with smallpox matter and discovered that no disease was forming. Therefore, his work was a success. To this day, their vaccine remains the only effective preventive treatment for smallpox. While Alexander Fleming is best known for creating the antibiotic penicillin, a drug that some believe has saved more than 200,000 lives, his early days as a scientist are equally important for his contributions.
When Fleming was a soldier in World War I, he soon realized that the antiseptic agents used to treat soldier wounds and prevent infections were actually killing more soldiers than infections. In fact, they were reducing the patient's own natural resistance to infections by killing white blood cells. When he returned from the war in 1919, he began researching in St. Mary's Hospital London School of Medicine.
While there, he picked up secretions from inside the nose of a patient suffering from a cold. He cultured the secretions to grow any bacteria that were present. In the secretions, he discovered a new bacteria called Micrococcus lysodeikticus, now called M. Luteus.
A few days later, when he himself was suffering from a cold, a drop of mucus fell from his nose on the crop. The bacteria on which it fell were almost completely destroyed. Fleming soon discovered that the common factor in body fluids was an enzyme he called a lysosome that seemed to destroy certain microbes, rendering them harmless to people. While lysozyme currently has limited antimicrobial benefits, it is still used as a food and wine preservative.
It is also used in medicines, especially in Asia, where it can be found in treatments for colds, throat infections, and even athlete's foot. Jonas Salk saw first-hand what the devastation of polio (polio) can do as a child, when the disease spread rapidly among many of his peers. In addition, he also experienced the Spanish flu pandemic, so it's easy to understand how these events helped shape his desire to dedicate himself to medicine. In 1947, Salk began researching polio while at the University of Pittsburgh.
Within a few years, he had determined that there were three different types of poliovirus, leading him to develop a “dead” version of the virus that he could then test. As we recounted the incredible contributions of doctors over time, it was hard not to notice how each of them took advantage of the important work of their predecessors and used it to advance new therapies and treatments that save lives. As our country's first line of defense, we thank you for taking your skills to the next level in treating patients across the country. If you're interested in quick-response positions, Staff Care can help you find the perfect place to help you.
To express interest, please complete the form on this page. One of our recruiters will contact you to discuss the options. For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit AMN's COVID-19 emergency response site. Anesthesiology has several factors that can increase stress levels in practice.
Take a look at the main issues and how anesthesiologists can mitigate their effects. Read a study conducted by AMA Insurance revealed that most doctors' workweeks ranged from 40 to 60 hours, but more than a quarter reported working more than 60 hours, and a few (5 percent) averaged 80 hours or more. According to March data from Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, men represent 64 percent of the medical workforce and women doctors represent less than half.
Physicians cannot simply treat symptoms as described, but must first determine if patients are faking pain or if they are actually suffering. Drastic advances in science have made the medical practices of the past not only become outdated, but often shocking. While brilliant medical knowledge is dotted throughout history, many outdated practices are more curious than insightful. From an early view of chemical warfare to human dissections, the following abbreviated excerpt from A Cabinet of Ancient Medical Curiosities includes brief facts and quotes about some of the most famous doctors of the ancient world.