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The History of Medicine

Author: Kirby Gong

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Explore the rich history of medicine, from the diseases that once plagued us, how the medicine we take for granted today came to be, and the curious characters and stories surrounding these technologies. Updates every week, with breaks between seasons for additional research and planning. Our current topic: Mental Illness. Still researching, episodes to resume at the end of December. Past Season's topics: Season 1 - Antibiotics. Season 2 - Surgery/Anesthesia. Season 3 - Public Health.
93 Episodes
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4.18 - Happy Pills

4.18 - Happy Pills

2021-06-0707:30

This week, we talk about the replacements for meprobamate, the first benzodiazepines, which got sold as Librium and Valium. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
4.17 - Tranquil

4.17 - Tranquil

2021-05-2406:32

This week, we learn about the first medications applied to psychiatric patients. It started off pretty rough with morphine, but eventually, in the 1950s we got the first tranquilizer drugs, which were a big deal. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week, we talk about convulsive therapy, or using seizures to treat mental illness, and then upgrade it using electricity. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
4.15 - Picking Brains

4.15 - Picking Brains

2021-05-1007:29

This week, we pick some people's brains... literally. Leucotomies AKA lobotomies were first tried in Portugal, but quickly spread. Probably a little too quickly, we can say with hindsight. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
4.14 - Caramel

4.14 - Caramel

2021-05-0307:17

This week, we finally start trying to treat severe mental illness. The earliest progress dates back to around the 1920s, which is when we started giving patients fevers on purpose, and dropping their blood sugar to induce comas. Not a great start. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
Sorry this is a little late, was a bit under the weather last week.This episode, we talk about the creation of the Feigner criteria, which Spitzer used to radically change the DSM-III, and finally, the DSM-III gets released for real.Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week, we learn about Robert Spitzer, who would someday lead the effort to create the third edition of the DSM. But first, we learn about his interesting path to involvement with the DSM at all, and his role in de-classifying homosexuality as a mental illness. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week, we talk about some of the weaknesses of the early DSM, namely that diagnosis was still pretty inconsistent, which leads to another credibility crisis for psychiatry. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week, the lack of standards for diagnosis cause problems for the US military, and finally the psychiatrists themselves, leading to the creation of the first edition of the DSM. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week we'll talk about the origins of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM for short. It starts with the United States census very unscientifically trying to study mental illness,  and Emil Kraepelin fixing things up over in Europe. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
Feel Better, Jojo!

Feel Better, Jojo!

2021-03-1500:15

Sorry, no episode this week! My editor Jojo is sick, and I don't want to give her a big backlog of episodes to review until she's better. Stay safe everyone, and hopefully you'll hear from me next week. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week, we talk about how psychoanalysts take over the practice of psychiatry in the United States, successfully infiltrating the American Psychiatric Association, Hollywood, and even a little bit of the government.Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week, Freud visits the United States... and very little changes, until the rise of the Nazis and World War II. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
4.6 - Freud: Civil War

4.6 - Freud: Civil War

2021-02-2207:20

This week, Freud goes on a war path, expelling all who disagree with him. No one is safe, even the founding members of the Wednesday Psychological Society. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
Thanks for waiting everyone. This week, we continue the saga of Sigmund Freud, and talk about how he first began to rise to prominence. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
We'll Be Right Back...

We'll Be Right Back...

2021-02-0900:46

Unfortunately, there’s not going to be an episode this week on account of me moving into a new house, and having a bunch of work suddenly appear over the weekend. Thanks for listening, and stay tuned; we'll be back to normal episodes next week. 
4.4 - Freud: Origins

4.4 - Freud: Origins

2021-02-0107:58

This week, we start talking about Sigmund Freud, his earliest exploits in medicine, and then the basics of his psychoanalytic theory. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
This week, we talk about the alienists, and their reforms to asylums of the mid 1800s. Phillipe Pinel is to lay the groundwork, but still no major progress is made in terms of treatment of psychological disease. A Painting of Pinel Releasing PatientsCheck out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
4.2 - Brain Mythology

4.2 - Brain Mythology

2021-01-1806:22

This week, we talk about the biological psychiatry movement of the mid to late 1800s. Its most important discovery: Alzheimer's disease. And that's about it. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
4.1 - Mesmerizing

4.1 - Mesmerizing

2021-01-1108:26

We're back, with season 4, about mental illness. We'll start this week in the 1770s, with Franz Mesmer, who "discovered" animal magnetism, and accidentally actually discovered hypnosis. Check out our website!E-mail me!Say hi on Facebook! 
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