Medical History

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 assigned at birth.

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.

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.

Johann Konrad Dippel was born in 1673 at Frankenstein Castle. Originally a theology student, Dippel began dabbling in chemistry, medicine and alchemy. Today he's remembered for creating a panacea that was used on a variety of ailments. How did he do it?

Dentist Horace Wells set up shop in Hartford in 1836, before the discovery of anasthesia. At an exhibition in 1844 he became certain that nitrous oxide could revolutionize medicine. He tried to demonstrate his findings... but things didn't go as planned.

Women weren't initially welcome in the Civil War armies, but thousands eventually ended up serving as nurses. We feature five here. Listen in to learn about nurses like Sally Louisa Tompkins, whose hospital became one of the most successful of the war.

Polio: The Dread Disease

Polio was a terrifying threat in the early 20th century: It often left victims paralyzed or dead. Yet two vaccines caused an immediate drop in polio cases and today they've nearly eradicated the disease. But what exactly happened? Tune in to find out.

In part two of this interview series, Dr. Holly Tucker discusses the research methods behind her new book, "Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution." Listen in to learn more about the controversial history of transfusions.

In part one of a special author interview, Dr. Holly Tucker talks about her new book, "Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution." Tune in to learn more about the startling history of blood transfusion.

Civil War Medicine: Mary Edwards Walker

When the Civil War began, Mary Edwards Walker sought work as a surgeon. When the Union refused to give her an appointment, she worked as a volunteer. She became the first woman to win a Medal of Honor. Tune in to learn more about Mary Edwards Walker.