Edward Jenner, who pioneered vaccination, and two colleagues (right) seeing off three anti-vaccination opponents, with the dead lying at their feet (1808).
I Cruikshank/Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons
Some people have objected to childhood vaccination since it was introduced in the late 1700s. And their reasons sound remarkably familiar to those of anti-vaxxers today.
General anaesthesia has come a long way since its first public demonstration in the 19th century, depicted here.
Wellcome Library, London/Wikimedia
Terrifying accounts of surgery 200 years ago remind us how far general anaesthesia has come. Yet we still know little about how anaesthetics alter consciousness.
Many in the Western Front contracted haemorrhagic dysentery.
Wellcome Library, London
When commemorating our troops, doctors and nurses this Anzac Day, consider also tipping your hat to the discovery of bacteriophages. In the post-antibiotic era, our health might just depend on them.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after dementia.
2017 marks the 200th anniversary since the 1817 publication of Dr James Parkinson’s seminal work on what he called the "Shaking Palsy".
Cupid shoots an arrow in the 'Roman de la Rose'. 14th century, MS NLW 5016 // Wikimedia Commons
Lettuce leaves and purgatives might ease your aching heart.
Gone are the days when we were told to suck out a snake’s venom. So what’s the current treatment and how have treatments changed over time?
State Library of NSW/Hood
Snake bite treatments have changed remarkably over the past 200 years. But most, if not all, made sense in their historical context.
Image of head bandage engraving via www.shutterstock.com.
The myth that a blow to the head can both cause and cure amnesia – a common one on TV and in the movies – may have begun during the 19th century.
A thousand years of historical sources make it clear that migraine is more than just a headache.
MASH TV cast.
The story of an amazing man you have probably never heard of.
We’ve come a long way since the 1950s in our understanding of breast cancer and how to treat it.
New research that more isn't better when it comes to chemotherapy mirrors the evolution of surgery approaches to breast cancer that, a few decades ago, were far more radical than now.
‘Doctor, whenever I get up I feel dizzy for half an hour.’ ‘Then wait for half an hour before getting up.’
Alexander the Great trust to physician Phillip, Henryk Siemiradzki
Medicine has changed beyond recognition in the last 2,000 years. So why should we still care what the founders of Western medicine thought?
We’ve always been fascinated by disfiguring diseases like leprosy.
Does Greyscale’s allure for contemporary audiences have to do with disfigurement?
Physician Karl Brandt is sentenced to death for crimes including using prisoners for medical research.
On Human Experiments – The impact of World War II on the development of human research ethics often overshadows the fascinating history and evolution of what came before.
Australian troops in France in the first world war – and one of Australia’s women medics, possibly Dr Laura Foster.
More than 20 Australian women doctors defied official discouragement and served as surgeons and medical officers in the first world war.
Health marketing materials used to promote measles vaccine during the 1960s.
Before the vaccine, we thought measles was a 'mild' illness. This is because vaccines drive down the number of people getting the disease while increasing our awareness of the risks.
The village of Deir el-Medina in the West Bank of Luxor, Egypt.
Records show that the Egyptian state provided health care to workers building royal tombs more than 3,000 years ago. But it was more about productivity than altruism.
Drawn directly from the flesh.
Public Domain Review/Flickr
December 31, 2014 marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important figures in the history of medicine. He authored one of the most elegant and influential books in scientific history…
18th century German cranial brace and bit to create holes in the skulls.
The UK’s largest medical charity, the Wellcome Trust, has made its vast database of images freely available to all. The collection holds photos of hundreds of years worth of medicine, instruments and scientific…