History of medicine portal

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Hippocrates, Father of Medicine Born: 460 BC, Died: 370 BC
Source: Wikicommons
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  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, August 2018

Famous physicians throughout medical history

What is a portal? ~ "...a portal is a convenient starting point for users who wish to explore several possible web navigation paths as determined by an expert in the field; it typically provides both a consolidated view of information with links to the best information that can be reached on the topic at hand..."

The history of medicine is replete with healing and cures but a lot of disease and suffering. Medical history draws from a range of academic and scientific disciplines and branches of scholarship such as history, philosophy, medicine and art. There is no shortage of resources available on these topics; the goal with this portal on the history of medicine is to provide some links to relevant files of information for the beginner, and insight into some of the key names and figures in medical history as well as to highlight trends across the history of medicine. Most of the resources mentioned below are freely-available. There will be corresponding academic sources and textbooks at your academic institution, so ask your history of medicine librarian.

See also

A to Z

See also Ten (10) portals on health librarianship

"..."the longer you can look back, the further you can look forward..."
— Winston Churchill on the history of medicine, from an address to the Royal College of Physicians in March 1944
Quoted in Guthrie D. A history of medicine. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1945.
This truth provides ample justification for the past supplies the key to the present and the future. History forms the basis of all knowledge and is a convenient avenue of approach to any subject of study. It is therefore only natural to regard the evolution and progress of medicine from bygone times as an essential background to modern medical education. Unfortunately, the rapid advances and new discoveries of recent years have tended to eclipse the work of the early pioneers, and although due reverence is still accorded to the memory of such great figures as Harvey, Hunter and Lister, the history of medicine in general has not received that recognition which the importance of the subject would appear to demand.

History of medicine curiosities


IndexCat contains over 4.5 million references to over 3.7 million bibliographic items dating from over five centuries and covering subjects of the basic sciences, scientific research, civilian and military medicine, public health, and hospital administration. A wide range of materials can be discovered through IndexCat, including books, journal articles, dissertations, pamphlets, reports, newspaper clippings, case studies, obituary notices, letters, portraits, as well as rare books and manuscripts. Recently, two new collections, involving medieval scientific English and Latin texts, were made available through IndexCat. Opening a new frontier in historical research, these additional collections encompass over 42,000 records of incipits, or the beginning words of a medieval manuscript or early printed book. IndexCat users can search incipit data by manuscript, library, author/translator, title, subject, date and other information.

The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine creates the IndexCat database, which is the online version of the Index Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office.
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