Paving the way: A Brief History of Black Pioneers in Medicine

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on February 18th, 2016.

Pursuing a career in medicine can be a challenging experience for anyone. For many aspiring Black doctors, these challenges were often associated with discrimination and a lack of opportunities to prove their worth, particularly in the early 19th and 20th centuries. Many barriers had to be torn down and doors opened before access to a quality medical education could be achieved for people of color. To celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing with you a brief history of how these opportunities were built.

Meharry Medical College Marker - Back Continue reading

Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War

More than three million soldiers fought in the American Civil War from 1861-1865. More than half a million died, and almost as many were wounded but survived. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by battlefield injuries or surgery. Although tragic, these injuries and the resulting medical needs revolutionized battlefield medicine, surgical amputations, and prosthetic technology. You can learn about the costs of the American Civil War, the advances in medicine that resulted, and the plight of the injured and disabled veterans at the Health Sciences Library with Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War, the traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine. Read on to learn some highlights from the exhibit plus other ways to dive deeper into this fascinating topic!

Capture 2

Five disabled veterans of the American Civil War. Courtesy National Library of Medicine.

Continue reading

Tech Talk Thursday: The Surprisingly Brief History of The Crutch

Tech Talk bannerIt’s probably safe to say that one of the only things more frustrating than injuring your lower limbs in some way is having to use crutches  after the fact as part of your recovery process. Often unwieldy and never described as comfortable, axillary and forearm crutches are one piece of medical tech that have been around for ages, but thanks to one company it looks like the device may finally be receiving a much needed upgrade.

Continue reading

Come Pick Your Poison!

It’s hard to believe that not too long ago in our nation’s history it was illegal to manufacture, transport, import, export, or sell alcoholic beverages. Not much earlier, in the late 19th Century, American physicians recommended cocaine for treating hay fever and asthma, and ironically enough, as a cure for alcoholism and addiction to opiates. Things have certainly changed since those times!

Continue reading