Cover image for Milestones in health and medicine
Milestones in health and medicine
Harding, Anne S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Phoenix : Oryx Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xii, 267 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
R133 .H36 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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This unique reference work offers a diverse and interesting view of the remarkable history of treating disease and understanding human health. More than 500 entries, written in an A-Z format, cover the amazing changes that have taken place in the world of health and medicine. While other volumes may overwhelm readers with extraneous information, Milestones in Health and Medicine offers relevant and succinct entries. Each entry includes a definition of the topic, its history, and its current place in medicine today. This book also includes a preface, illustrations, helpful cross-references, sources for additional reading, and a list of entries by subject.

Author Notes

ANNE S. HARDING specializes in writing on healt1h, science, and medicine./e She has written for the Boston Globe, Reuters Health Information, Harvard Health Letter, Consumer Reports on Health, and several other print and Web-based publications.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Readers interested in medical history will find this work useful as an introduction. The author, a science writer, provides a historical perspective on medical discoveries. The book is neither a broad medical history nor a medical dictionary, but it does contain more than 500 alphabetical entries dealing with advances in the treatment of disease and the understanding of human health. The entries cover both ancient and recent events and practices deemed significant by the author. The alphabetical arrangement makes it relatively easy to locate information, but patrons using terminology that is different from the author's or seeking biographies may not find what they need. A subject index at the front of the book classifies entries by broad areas: antibiotics, immunology, transplants or artificial organs, etc. A full index at the end of the text provides complete coverage and is the only place to find personal names. Someone who wants to find information about childbed fever will still have a problem because the term is not used as an entry or a cross-reference. The author uses only the medical term puerperal fever. Still, for the most part readers will find what they need with little effort, as cross-references in bold type direct them to related material. The entries are brief, ranging from a few short paragraphs to half a page. They cover a wide range of subjects: Abortion, Ayurveda, DNA fingerprinting, Herbal medicine, Rabies, Trepanation, U.S. Public Health Service. Each has one source for additional reading listed at the end. Black-and-white photographs illustrate some entries, bringing historical details to life. The entry Mental hospital has a reproduction of the cover of an annual report from the State Idiot Asylum at Syracuse (N.Y.). Poliomyelitis has a picture of Dr. Jonas Salk administering his vaccine to a young boy. A time line from 10,000 B.C.E. to the present helps readers appreciate how old some medical procedures such as trepanation are. It also shows the great progress that contemporary researchers are making and the ethical dilemmas that accompany some of their discoveries, such as the uses of stem cells. Students looking for report topics and patrons who need brief information will find that Milestones in Health and Medicine is a good place to start. The extensive bibliography at the end offers sources for further research. Those who want biographies will need to consult other sources, such as Scribner's Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1970^-1980). Standard resources such as Oxford Companion to Medicine (1986) and Cambridge World History of Human Disease (1993) provide greater depth, but this is an excellent ready-reference source for school, public, and academic libraries.

Choice Review

Writer Harding's resource book presents 500 entries describing "advances in the treatment of disease and the understanding of human health." Her preface states that "the emphasis is on significant advances in diseases, treatments and health issues." The book offers three methods for finding information: a subject list at the beginning of the text, a time line listing medical and health milestones chronologically, and a general index. The book is arranged alphabetically; see and see also references and a bibliography are provided. A sampling of the myriad topics covered in the "L" section includes Lamaze method, laparoscopy, laser surgery, leprosy, leukemia, lithium, lithotomy, liver transplant, lobotomy, LSD, lung cancer, lung transplant, Lyme disease, and lymph system. Though this reviewer does not often have the opportunity to work at the library reference desk, she was able, while preparing this review, to use this book to answer one of the questions that came her way. The library user was seeking historical information regarding the development of the EKG. The information provided in this book was exactly what was needed. General readers; lower-division undergraduates; two-year technical program students. D. Sibley; University of Massachusetts Medical Center at Worcester

Table of Contents

Subject List Entries Timeline