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Science History

The Making of Modern Medicine

Turning Points in the Treatment of Disease

by (author) Michael Bliss

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2010
History, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2010
    List Price

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Originating in the prestigious Joanne Goodman Lecture Series, and drawing on the author's series of award-winning books, The Making of Modern Medicine explores the foundations of medicine through three case studies that elucidate turning points in the evolution of health care. Michael Bliss first sketches the religiously-based attitudes of fatalism that enveloped the Montreal of 1885 during the last great epidemic of smallpox in the Western world. He then traces the scientific, research-based approach to disease of the Canadian-born doctor William Osler, practicing at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. The final study reveals how the values that Osler espoused helped to inspire those who discovered insulin at the University of Toronto. In a provocative epilogue, Bliss reflects on how these events have contributed to our current anxieties about and attitudes towards health care. A tour de force, The Making of Modern Medicine is an essential summation of the work of Canada's leading historian of medicine.

About the author

Michael Bliss was a Canadian historian and a University Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and the History of Medicine Program at the University of Toronto. He was the author of numerous award-winning books in business and political history as well as the history of medicine, including popular biographies of Sir Frederick Banting, Sir William Osler, and Harvey Cushing. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the first historian to be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

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Editorial Reviews

‘Bliss's engaging style makes it an easy single-sitting reading… Even the queasiest of us will have no problem reading this compelling and thought-provoking book.’

Canada's History Magazine; Dec 2011-Jan 2012

Other titles by Michael Bliss