The Golden Age of Medicine?
DOI link for The Golden Age of Medicine?
The Golden Age of Medicine? book
The discoveries of penicillin, streptomycin and other antibiotics marked the fulfillment of ‘magic bullet’ medicine — the therapeutic cornerstone of the ‘golden age.’ An additional central element of the ‘golden age of medicine’ is the dramatic improvement in standards of health during the first half of the twentieth century. The ‘golden age of medicine’ can only be assessed by also examining those settings for research and patient care that served to make cutting-edge discoveries possible and to translate them to the bedside. The hospital, perhaps more than any other single institution, became the structural emblem of the ‘golden age.’ Deeply embedded in discussions of the ‘golden age,’ its character and longevity, are essential perspectives on the nature and meaning of medical knowledge and practice in the twentieth century. The very successes of the ‘golden age’, the scientific and technical breakthroughs in the ability to identify and treat previously catastrophic diseases, ironically also demonstrated some of the important limitations of biomedicine.