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medical history

A Brief History of Veterinary Medicine

Animals and humans have been living together for centuries, but standardized veterinary care developed over a long period of time in many different places. See more »

William Moulton Marston & the Creation of Wonder Woman

Most people know Wonder Woman as an embodiment of truth and justice, but don't know much about the comic's earlier years or its creator. Marston lived an unconventional life, and in many ways, Wonder Woman was an expression of that life. See more »

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is one of the modern world's most infamous incidents of unethical medical research. The study's researchers told its participants that they were being treated for syphilis, but in reality, they weren't. See more »

Jules Cotard and the Syndrome Named After Him

Jules Cotard was the first psychiatrist to write about the cluster of symptoms that would come to be called “Walking Corpse Syndrome.” But his work was unfinished, and left a great deal of room for debate about it among his colleagues. See more »

The King's Evil and the Royal Touch

The practice of the monarch laying on hands to cure sick people lasted from the medieval period all the way to the 18th century in Britain and France. One disease in particular was so often "cured" it came to be known as the King's Evil. See more »

Tarrare, a Case of Polyphagia

Insatiable hunger completely dominated every aspect of this French man's existence in the 18th century. His life took a series of twists and turns, but his condition was never truly diagnosed or cured. See more »

The Crescent Hotel and Norman Baker

Eureka Springs, Arkansas is home to a beautiful Victorian hotel with a long and winding history. A colorful part of that history involves a man who claimed that doctors couldn't be trusted, and that he had the cure for cancer. See more »

The Doctors' Riot of 1788

In the late 1700s, medical colleges needed cadavers for educational dissection, but there were no legal means for obtaining them. This led to some unorthodox dealings in the acquiring of bodies, and brought New York to a fever pitch in 1788. Read the show notes here. See more »

The Flu Epidemic of 1918

The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed somewhere between 20 million and 50 million people, started just as World War I was winding down. Nobody cured it, or really successfully treated it. A fifth of the people in the world got the flu during the pandemic. Read the show notes here. See more »

Elizabeth Blackwell, America's First Female M.D.

It's not a story of a person with a childhood dream of pursuing a career that wasn't available to them. Dr. Blackwell had no interest in medicine as a child. But she paved the way for women who came after her and changed the face of medicine in the U.S. Read the show notes for this episode here. See more »