About this book
Medical history offers us many wise thoughts, a few misguided notions, and a host of intriguing back-stories. On the Shoulders of Medicine’s Giants presents a selection of these, and tells how the words of medicine’s “giants”—such as Hippocrates, Sir William Osler, Francis Weld Peabody, and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross—are relevant to medical science and practice in the 21st century.
Which physician was the inspiration for the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, and what did he identify as “the real essential factor in all successful medical diagnoses”? What did Sigmund Freud describe as his “tyrant,” and what might this mean for doctors today? Do you know the attributed source of the well-known aphorism about horses and zebras, and what we believe this physician actually said? This book answers these questions and more, while also providing fascinating tales about each individual quoted.
On the Shoulders of Medicine’s Giants is recommended for practicing physicians, students, and residents, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and anyone involved in patient care who wants to understand the historical and epistemological foundations of what we do each day in practice.
Robert B. Taylor, MD is the author and editor of more than 30 medical books and several hundred published articles, as well as a veteran of rural private practice and, later, chairmanship of a major medical school department.