Why Medicine Now Works the Pioneers Who Made It Happen
W 2019


For most of human history there was no anesthesia. Death in childbirth was common. Smallpox, polio and tuberculosis regularly killed millions. Danger lurked with every drink of water.  There was constant danger of  dying of a minor cut or sore throat because antibiotics did not exist. The world of microorganisms was unimagined as a cause of infectious disease. And the purpose of the heart and circulation of blood was a mystery.

This SDG describes the medical discoveries and techniques  that have saved the lives of billions and changed the face of the world into the world we live in today-- along with the fascinating story of the people who made these discoveries   and the conflicts, and struggles which often ensued before their ideas were accepted. 

Stories like: How in 1675, an unlearned clothing merchant from Delft, in 1675 placed a drop of rainwater under his homemade microscope and detected a previously unknown and unimagined world of thousands of tiny animals – only to be accused by those who couldn't duplicate his methods, of having drunk too many spirits. 

Or how two hundred years later,  the terrified  wife of a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Wurzburg  exclaimed in terror: : I have seen my own death.after  her husband surprised her by placing her  hand on an unexposed photographic plate and turned  on an electric current,revealing   the bones in her hand,   

Or the  fact that DNA was actually described as early as  the 1700’s.

Included among much more, are  also :the stories  of the discovery of germs, vaccination, surgical anesthesia, diagnostic x-rays, antibiotics, genetic engineering, designer drugs and more.

Reviewers have raved about our two core books:

    * "a gripping read.”—Aaron Klug, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1982

    * “It is simply a joy to read Oncology Times."

    * "a highly readable and occasionally laugh-out-loud-funny. . rich with human elements.” 

Both of our core books are available in inexpensive used editions, and  are available for less than $10 each (including shipping)-- as well as via Kindle.  


Authors of our core books are, two distinguished physicians and teachers, who have drawn on their many years of experience as medical school professors and as collectors of old medical publications, to describe these medical breakthroughs-- bringing to life the scientific pioneers responsible for them and the excitement, frustrations, and controversies that surrounded their  achievements.  We'll supplement these books as needed to bring things up to date  with materials from the web.


Most of us are alive today because of the pioneers described in this book.  Come join us for this fun and fascinating SDG. 

Weekly Topics

(1)    Hippocrates and the Invention of Medicine as a Science

(2)    Anatomy - What’s Inside Us?

(3)    It Circulates: the Circulation of Blood

(4)    Water Can Kill.  Sanitation of Water Supply - Public Health to Control Disease

(5)    Bacteria - Germs Cause Infectious Disease, Microbiology, prions, viruses, and  yeast 

(6)    Vaccination - First Successful Prevention of Disease Savior of Billions , Polio and Small Pox and other success stories

(7)    Anesthesia Makes Surgery Practical

(8)    X-rays

(9)    Tissue Culture

(10)  Cause and Prevention of Heart Disease

(11)  Antibiotics, antifungal, antiviral 

(12)  DNA 

(13)  Medicines of the Mind

(14)  Cancer and the Foundation of Chemotherapy



Medicine's 10 Greatest Discoveries
Meyer Friedman, Gerald W. Friedland 

Yale University Press 2000

Breakthrough!:  How the 10 Greatest Discoveries in Medicine Saved Millions and Changed Our View of the World

Jon Queijo

FT Press

Internet Articles to supplement and bring us up to date