Better and Complications

July 12, 2010 § 4 Comments

Atul Gawande scrubbing for surgery. Photo from

“How helpless human newborn babies are,” my wife commented as we were watching some TV programme about surrogate mothers. “I read something really interesting about that recently,” I said, and realized I’d just referenced something I’d read in “Better” or “Complications” by Atul Gawande for the umpteenth time that week. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turning the Pages

May 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

vesalius-p559The National Library of Medicine hosts a great web project called Turning the Pages. Using a flash-based interface, they let you read old medical tomes like Andreas Vesalius’s De Humani Corporis Fabrica and Ambroise Paré’s Oeuvres by literally turning the pages. The books are also filled with curator’s notes on the text and illustrations. This is as close as most of us will get to a hands-on experience. Excellent!

The illustration above is from page 559 of De Humani Corporis Fabrica.

The Alarming History of Medicine

January 2, 2008 § 2 Comments

The Alarming History of Medicine - front coverI’ve just finished reading The Alarming History of Medicine by Richard Gordon. Popping up as a suggestion when ordering some other books, I guess this line from the back cover sold it:

Using hilarious stories, based on actual facts, Richard Gordon shows that most of the monumental discoveries [in medicine] were originally accidents.

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