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medical history

Tarrare, a Case of Polyphagia

 Tarrare, a Case of Polyphagia

Insatiable hunger completely dominated every aspect of this French man 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

 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 Flu Epidemic of 1918

 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. See more »

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

 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. See more »

Avicenna

 Avicenna

You may never have heard of him, but Avicenna was one of the first, and probably the most influential, Islamic philosopher-scientists. He’s listed among the great philosophers in Dante’s Inferno and is mentioned in the prologue to the Canterbury Tales. See more »

Edward Jenner, Father of Vaccines

 Edward Jenner, Father of Vaccines

Smallpox has been around longer than recorded history. It killed royalty, shifted the tides of battles, and was so terrifying that many religions have gods, saints and martyrs associated with it. And Edward Jenner gets the credit for changing all that. See more »

 Encephalitis Lethargica

From 1916 to about 1927, a strange epidemic spread around the world. It caused unusual symptoms, from drastic behavior changes to a deep, prolonged sleep that could last for months. Between 20 and 40 percent of people who caught the disease died. See more »

 Alan L. Hart

Alan L. Hart was a doctor, writer, and prominent figure in the fields of radiology and tuberculosis control. He was also one of the first people in the U.S. to have surgery in an effort to transition to a different gender than the one he had been born to. See more »

 Phineas Gage

In 1848, Phineas Gage experienced a catastrophic brain injury and survived -- though altered -- for more than 11 years. Over time, he morphed into one of the world’s most famous case studies in how damage to the brain can affect behavior. See more »

 Selman Waksman and the Streptomycin Controversy

An accomplished bacteriologist, Selman Waksman and his students and colleagues isolated many new antibiotics in the 1940s, including streptomycin and neomycin, earning him the nickname Father of Antibiotics. See more »