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At The Dawn Of The Twenty First Century, We Have Become Accustomed To Medical Breakthroughs And Conditioned To Assume That, Regardless Of Illnesses, Doctors Almost Certainly Will Be Able To Help Not Just By Diagnosing Us And Alleviating Our Pain, But By Actually Treating Or Even Curing Diseases, And Significantly Improving Our Lives For Most Of Human History, However, That Was Far From The Case, As Veteran Medical Historian Michael Bliss Explains In The Making Of Modern Medicine Focusing On A Few Key Moments In The Transformation Of Medical Care, Bliss Reveals The Way That New Discoveries And New Approaches Led Doctors And Patients Alike To Discard Fatalism And Their Traditional Religious Acceptance Of Suffering In Favor Of A New Faith In Health Care And In The Capacity Of Doctors To Treat Disease He Takes Readers In His Account To Three Turning Points A Devastating Smallpox Outbreak In Montreal In , The Founding Of The Johns Hopkins Hospital And Medical School, And The Discovery Of Insulin And Recounts The Lives Of Three Crucial Figures Researcher Frederick Banting, Surgeon Harvey Cushing, And Physician William Osler Turning Medical History Into A Fascinating Story Of Dedication And Discovery Compact And Compelling, This Searching History Vividly Depicts And Explains The Emergence Of Modern Medicine And, In A Provocative Epilogue, Outlines The Paradoxes And Confusions Underlying Our Contemporary Understanding Of Disease, Death, And Life Itself This short book made even shorter text wise by a handful of photos illustrations in each chapter captures a series of lectures given by Dr Bliss I concur with another reviewer here that as such, it s reallyof a summary of three of Dr Bliss s books the ones about smallpox in Montreal, William Osler, and the discovery of insulin, respectively The lectures chapters are very short and cursory or, to put it another way, just long enough for Bliss to make all his claims i.e., to present the major claims from whatever book but not long enough to present much evidence for them For example, I was left wondering what evidence he had of superstitious religious feelings about medicine doctors among the French Canadians in Montreal during the smallpox epidemic Having recently been to Quebec, it was interesting to read about the smallpox outbreak in Montreal and how some Canadian medical schools actually fared well in the Flexner Report, in part because they werelikely to take after their European counterparts than American med schools As significant as Osler was, histories focused on great men and great institutions seem a little passe I m sure Bliss wasnuanced about Osler in his book length treatment of his life. Book Reviews Two of a KindI decided to take advantage of my hour long lunch hour by taking part of it and reading books Right now, I m concentrating on non fiction, Medical History books eventually, I ll get back into reading fiction.One of the last of the hardcover books left on my shelf is The Making of Modern Medicine Turning Points in the Treatment of Disease by Michael Bliss and the next book was the Kindle version of Stores from the Emergency Room by Mary Beth Engrav, MD.I m combining both reviews into one because after completing my reading, I was left with the same feeling of bewilderment these books were very well written, interesting to read but ultimately left me unsatisfied and unlikely to read them a second time.The Making of Modern Medicine by Michael Bliss can be described as not only a very short book but a preface to three of Dr Bliss three other books Plague A Story of Smallpox in Montreal, Williams Osler A Life in Medicine, and The Discovery of Insulin which I ve read and previously reviewed It s not that the individual stories weren t interesting but they were obviously written to prompt readers to read the actual books and honestly, as a reader, I feel duped I m sad to say that, but that s honesty how I feel Yes, the information was interesting and well presented, but it was obvious presentedas an over view, rather than in depth analysis.I didn t really have that problem with the second book, Stores from the Emergency Room It was an interesting collection of anecdotes of interesting cases Dr Engrav had encountered while an emergency room physician The stories reminded me of the Emergency Room itself tell the story, get the patient off to a specialist.Perhaps I m picky, but I seriously wantedbackground hospital background, background of Emergency Medicine in that hospital, background of Dr Engrav herself Something Anythingthan, here s the patient here s what we did there goes the patient Yawn.I had a hard time coming up with a rating for these two books and I ve decided on but in reality, I would give them each 3.5 5 stars Well written but ultimately unsatisfying. Very interesting