Today is National Doctors’ Day, a day to recognize the contributions that physicians make to our community every day. Physicians and medical professionals are constantly seeking better medical solutions to heal their patients; dedication that requires a lifetime, and can impact future generations.
To celebrate centuries of the ever-improving medical field, we’ll take a look at how far medicine has come and the lessons learned along the way. Some interesting medical practices of the past include:
- Bloodletting: As recently as the 19th century, bloodletting, the practice of draining blood from a sick patient, was used to treat a wide variety of illnesses or infections, ranging from acne to the plague. Today, medical professionals focus on healing patients with scientifically proven treatments, to help their patients get better, quicker.
- Snake oil: Now used to describe medicine or therapy that doesn’t work, snake oil’s history is murky. What is known is that American entrepreneur Clark Stanley popularized the “medicine,” which was found to contain no traces of snake whatsoever later in the 20th century. Stanley insisted that his snake oil, distributed by “doctors” without any actual credentials, could cure joint pain and arthritis. Now, medical professionals use actual medicines produced by the pharmaceutical industry to treat pain and arthritis, and the FDA now provides strict oversight as to the benefit and safety of any drugs distributed in the U.S.
- Latin and Greek as the universal medical language: Up until the 20th century, Latin and Greek were the languages uniting scientists, including physicians, worldwide. In fact, that’s why so many medical terms are still in Latin. Only when American universities began to allow non-fluent Latin and Greek speakers into their hallowed halls did physicians learn Latin and Greek less and less. Today, while most physicians have a passing knowledge of Latin or Greek, they put an emphasis on learning the language of their patients so they can establish a connection and help the patients become healthy.
These medical evolutions could not have happened without the dedication of medical professionals, like the ones at Crossroads Hospice. To all those dedicated to helping treat illnesses and improve the lives of their patients, Happy National Doctors’ Day!