The History of Medicine

The History of Medicine

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 topics. Updates every week, with breaks between seasons for additional research and planning. Our current topic: Pain. Episodes to resume in early October 2021! Past Season's topics: Season 1 - Antibiotics. Season 2 - Surgery/Anesthesia. Season 3 - Public Health. Season 4 - Mental Illness. Season 5 - Pain.

Episodes

August 23, 2022 36 sec

Good evening everyone. As you can tell, I've been gone for even longer than expected, and I am sorry for that. I love doing this podcast, but it is a hobby for me. Between my research being very busy, wedding planning absolutely kicking my butt, and also throwing out my back for a week, it just hasn't been possible to get this season going yet. I'm still receiving mail from some of y'all, which as always makes me ve...

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Good evening everyone. As you can tell, I've been gone for a bit longer that expected, for which I apologize. I unfortunately also will need to extend my hiatus even longer. I did settle on the history of physical rehabilitation as my next topic, and have begun some research, but that was all de-railed by my fiance getting sick for a bit although she's fine now, and speaking of, I also got engaged. Turns out wedding plannin...

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April 27, 2022 7 min

This week, we talk about the potential future of pain management. We talk about how opioids might be improved upon, and about how interdisciplinary approaches might become more accessible for all.

If you've got topic ideas for the next season, send them my way!

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Transcripts and Sources here!

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April 20, 2022 8 min

In our 2nd to last episode this season, let's talk about the development of functional restoration, and the tiny rise and fall of specialty pain clinics, all of which happened alongside the opioid crisis.


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April 14, 2022 27 sec

Good evening everyone. As happens here and there, some extra responsibilities and some holidays have snuck up on me. This past week, I’ve been swamped with work, and this upcoming week I’ve got numerous Passover activities, and so this week’s episode will be unfortunately delayed. If you’re wondering why I’m celebrating Passover despite my last name being Asian, the answer is that my girlfriend’s family is Jewish, and so I’m partic...

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April 6, 2022 14 min

Thanks for waiting. This week, we talk about the origins of the current opioid crisis. It began with a drug called OxyContin, a reformulation of the existing opioid oxycodone, and many, many mistakes from physicians, researchers, regulators, and companies. The consequences were to be disastrous, and we are still dealing with them today.

Purdue Pharma OxyContin Commercial


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Mark as Played
March 30, 2022 28 sec

Good evening everyone, Kirby here. I apologize, but I’m going to put off this week’s episode in order to release a bigger, better episode for next week to make up for it. This episode will cover the origins of the modern opioid epidemic, which gets quite complex, and I haven’t found a place I think would be a good place to stop writing the episode. So, I decided I won’t. Thank you for your patience!

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March 23, 2022 8 min

This episode, we catch up on some developments in the world of opioids while we've been away from it. Oxycodone gets developed, and plays a role in World War II. Methadone is discovered, and ironically becomes a treatment for opioid addiction, and finally, fentanyl is created and abused. 

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March 16, 2022 7 min

This week, we learn about John Bonica, a world-famous wrestler, and then a world-famous doctor and pain researcher, and all around an extraordinary individual. 

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March 9, 2022 6 min

This week, we talk about Wilbert Fordyce, a pioneer in applying psychological research to preventing pain. You may have heard of operant conditioning before, but have you heard of using it for chronic pain reduction?

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March 3, 2022 17 sec

Hello everyone, Kirby here. Sorry but I cannot get an episode up this week. Between a some personal matters and my internet being down for an entire day, my week has been very chaotic, and this week’s episode is unfinished. I’m hoping to resume like usual next week. Bear with me, and thank you for your patience. Be back soon!

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February 23, 2022 5 min

This week, we learn about Stewart Adams, who helped discover ibuprofen, one of the most important painkilling medications today. 

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February 16, 2022 8 min

This week, we talk about the very long journey of acetaminophen/paracetamol, from its discovery in the late 1800s to its eventual widespread use in modern times. This journey is filled with mistakes and mishaps, but eventually the drug does make it out.

Part 1 of my interview on the NoiseFilter podcast

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February 9, 2022 7 min

Sorry for the delay, I took a week off for Lunar New Year!

This episode, we talk about some of the applications of Melzack and Wall's Gate Theory of Pain. A whole bunch of doctors, scientists, and engineers got interested in zapping away our pain again, and the implantable nerve stimulator for pain was born.

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January 26, 2022 6 min

This week, let's learn about Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall, two very different successors to Livingston who together published the very influential gate control theory of pain. 

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January 19, 2022 7 min

Today, we talk about some ways that pain was thought about before the 20th century, and then William K Livingston, who combined a lot of that thinking and set up our modern understanding of pain.

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January 12, 2022 7 min

We're back! Sorry, the last few weeks were crazy, between a Covid exposure and the holidays. This week, let's talk about some of the pain treatments that replaced opioid drugs in the late 1800s and early 1900s; electrotherapy, and neurosurgery.

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This week, we talk about Silas Weir Mitchell, who was a doctor and researcher who first studied causalgia, or pain caused by nerve damage. He had a lot of accomplishments in his life, and a lot of tragedy too, and deserves to be remembered.

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December 7, 2021 6 min

This week, we return to talking about opioid drugs, this time discussing heroin, which is to replace morphine in many ways, good and bad.

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November 22, 2021 8 min

This week, we talk about the discovery of aspirin, going from willows to modern pills, with some drama in between.

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Transcripts and Sources here!

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