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Seminar 6: Glimpses of History of Medicine with a Twist in the Tail

“Glimpses of History of Medicine with a Twist in the Tail”
by: Prof. Dr. Ramesh Kumar Marya
Professor and Head, Dept. of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
DATE: 27th February, 2013 (Wednesday)
TIME: 3-4pm
VENUE: Lecture Room 4 @ Level 3, QIUP, Plaza Teh Teng Seng


In this talk, the speaker briefly reviews the development of Western Medicine during the two thousand years to highlight the pivotal role of research. During the first three centuries, AD, research work brought in many discoveries about the human body mainly by experimental work on animals. This was followed by what is known as dark ages lasting about 1000 years when no research was allowed by the authorities/ rulers.  This was a period when there was no progress in medical science. In fact, knowledge gained earlier was lost because libraries were burnt down.  The watershed came in the form of bubonic plague (Black Death) in 14th century when more than 1/3rd of European population was wiped out. The massive loss of life led to rejection of medicine as was practiced at that time. Intellectuals started questioning all old beliefs and dogmas. The result was a revival of interest in research in medicine.  Fifteenth to 18th centuries are known as renaissance in medicine. In this period many monumental discoveries in medicine were made. However, development of other disciplines such as chemistry and physics was essential for medical science to cross new frontiers. Finally, the golden period of medicine and surgery started only in 1950s.

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