Saturday, January 13, 2007

What do you think is the biggest medical advance since 1840?

The British Medical Journal has published a supplement on their picks for the top 15 advances in medicine since their launch in 1840. It includes computers, the discovery of DNA, antibiotics, anesthesia, figuring out how germs cause disease and how our body fights off infection, the importance of cleanliness and good hygiene, vaccination, and the risks of smoking, among others. Hey, Rachel - The pill made the list too!

When you read the list, you can't help but think about how lucky we are to benefit from all these advances, and how many lives have been saved or improved because of the changes.

If you're interested in this sort of thing, you have until the end of the day on Sunday to place your vote to help decide which of the 15 is crowned #1.

Related:The Hamilton Spectator did a nice piece on McMaster University's leading role in the development of the evidence-based medicine concept, the idea that clinical practice should be based on clinical expertise, the best relevant scientific research, and the values of the patient, which also made BMJ's list.

Update: And the winner is....
Sanitation, with almost 16% of the vote, followed by antibiotics in 2nd place and anaesthesia a close 3rd.

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At 4:26 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I just saw this, and I'm glad the pill made the list! My personal picks would have been the pill, sanitation, antibiotics, and vaccines.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger BeckyJ said...

Antibiotics and vaccines had my vote too, in terms of reduced mortality and burden of disease (and numerous childhood episodes of tonsillitis!) though I guess sanitation advances kind of underpin the others in a way :)


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