This course shows the natural side of emerging medical science developed by the great men and women of faith and morals. It's a story about intellect, faith, hope as well as strivings, disappointments, triumphs of human genius, and acts of God.

Nature's  Secrets

Each of the towering greats—those who are likable, and those who are obnoxious, those who are modest, and those who are egocentric—those who are serene and those who are crazed—each of them has a unique story to tell us. And the thing that unites all of them is their extraordinary zeal for discovering the secrets of nature, what one of the greatest of them, William Harvey, in the 17th century, would eventually come to call 'nature's closet of secrets.' "

You will get to know the greats who discovered the "closet of secrets" from nature's grasp, and you'll share some of the intriguing stories by audio lecture:

  • The childhood of a young 16th-century Flemish boy named Andreas Vesalius. Descended from several generations of physicians, the young Vesalius spent countless happy hours at a nearby place of execution, a gallows where the dead bodies of criminals were left to rot. He was fascinated by the bits of bone and dried flesh he found. Years later, he became a professor of anatomy and surgery at the University of Padua and published a book called De Humani Corporis Fabrica: On the Structure of the Human Body. Published in 1543, and rich in illustrations by a protégé of Titian named Jan Stephen van Calcar, the mammoth volume is the world's first  accurate description of human anatomy.
  • The horrible reality of surgery up until the middle of the 19th century, when screaming patients had to be held down, and even the simple procedures then possible, such as amputations, had mortality rates from infection that exceeded 50 percent. You will learn the discovery of surgical anesthesia, which featured suicides, imprisonment, and even psychotic behavior among the four principals vying for historical recognition and a $100,000 prize promised by the U.S. Congress.
  • Joseph Lister's monumental discovery of the cause of post-operative infection—and even his demonstrable methods of preventing much of it—were rejected by his English colleagues for a full generation, even as they were being accepted elsewhere.
  • The advent of pediatric cardiac surgery was launched by Helen Taussig, one of the first great medical women from Johns Hopkins Medical School, who proposed the idea for the "blue baby" operations performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas. A brilliant African American lab assistant there, Thomas guided the groundbreaking 1944 operation over the shoulder of surgeon Blalock.
  • As these discoveries were made, it would only be a matter of time that greed for money and profits would start to poison and consume the emerging, secularized practice of medicine. The founding of the AMA was formed to compete in direct conflict with American Homeopathic physicians, who outnumbered the allopaths. The rest of the story is history...

This course is a marvelous introduction to the story of medicine and is rich in human detail, with medical discoveries explained and put into historical context by one of medicine's most accomplished and famous explorers. It is a must-have for anyone interested in the fascinating story of medicine's evolution since the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece, and the brilliant men and women who made this journey possible.

Course is based on audio lectures. The accompany text is a rare copy of Wilder's History of medicine. A brief outline of medical history and sects of physicians, from the earliest historic period - A. Wilder 1904.pdf

15 clock hours