There are hundreds of discoveries in the history of Medicine, but among all of them, a few have marked a before and after in the history of Humanity. We review the most important medical discoveries in history.
The 8 most important medical discoveries
Just two centuries ago, interventions such as amputations were performed by giving the patient a piece of wood to bite into and endure the pain. Fortunately, in the late 19th century anesthesia was discovered.
7 MMR Vaccine
The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine was registered in 1971 by Maurice Hilleman and soon had a significant effect on the number of reported measles cases.
A medical procedure as common as X-rays was discovered by accident. Its inventor was Wilhelm Conrad Röntge, who in 1895 discovered that his cathode ray tube could produce some unusual images.
It was first isolated in 1921, by scientists at the University of Toronto who were later awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery. The following year, 14-year-old Leonard Thompson became the first human to receive artificial insulin after coming close to suffering from a diabetic coma.
4 Germ theory
The actual cause of the disease – germs – was discovered by various scientists, but the most important breakthrough came in 1854, when John Snow linked a cholera outbreak to a baby’s diapers that contained the germ.
Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, by accident, thanks to the fact that he left a Petri dish contaminated with Penicillium (a fungus) overnight and the next day he discovered that around the fungus there was a halo where no bacteria had grown.
2 Smallpox vaccine
The smallpox vaccine was the first vaccine discovered. Credit goes to Edward Jenner, who in 1796 isolated smallpox from cows and used them as a successful vaccine. One of the greatest achievements in medical history.
1 Structure of DNA
As with many on our list, the discovery was the work of several people, but it was Francis Crick and James Watson who first produced the double helix model of DNA and later won the Nobel Prize.