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Three modern emergency physicians take a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek quest through various stories in medical history, complete with "highly authentic" historical reenactments. New episodes every two weeks. For questions or comments, check us out on social media or stop by our website where merchandise is available for fans of the show (info below). Linktree: https://linktr.ee/poorhistorianspod
 
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show series
 
There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding the death of the great magician and skeptic, Harry Houdini. Though many believe he may have died during one of his dangerous escape performances, the truth leads to a common diagnosis with a possible uncommon and unusual cause. FYI: Full show notes will be posted to our website. Sources: -https://…
 
In this week's episode we'll trace back the beginnings of the modern intensive care unit and critical care medicine as we know it. Much of this arose thanks to two particular infectious diseases--polio and tetanus. Tune in to find out how intrepid Danish physicians collaborated to save the lives of people dying from these diseases and ultimately le…
 
We're back! Many people know that insulin is an important part of the treatment for diabetes. In this episode we'll talk about how insulin was discovered and first used to treat a disease that, throughout the whole of human history, was previously fatal. We'll explain what diabetes is, how it used to be treated in the age before insulin, and how a …
 
Apologies but we'll have to delay the episode another week. Technical issues + scheduling conflicts + illness have all made for difficulty getting the episode done on our usual schedule. Also, the podcast will be moving back to releases every two weeks. Good changes in Max's career have unfortunately overtaken the free time he'd had to increase the…
 
While we've discussed numerous famous Victorian era surgeons, we haven't taken this deep of a dive into their facilities. This week we bring you a conversation with Monica Walker, PhD, all the way from London, England. This episode runs a bit longer than the others but that's just where the interview took us. So many neat tidbits. We'll talk about …
 
Doctors and the Hippocratic Oath just go together like Turner and Hooch. That analogy makes as little sense as it does to keep harping on the Hippocratic Oath as a rite of passage for graduating physicians. There's plenty of myth to dispel here. Fortunately we won't go it alone. This week we are joined by physician and author, Dr. Brian Elliott who…
 
This week we are joined by Laurie Fink, PhD, from the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) to discuss their anatomical collection as well as their super cool exhibit on quackery in medicine. Exhibits from the former Museum of Questionable Medical devices have been incorporated into the SMM's exhibit called "Weighing the Evidence." We'll talk about wha…
 
Let's mix one part anatomy lesson with one part historical overview of a very important blood vessel that has been a problem for numerous famous figures including Lucille Ball and Albert Einstein. We'll talk about what the aorta is, the various ways it can become a problem, people in recent and past history who have had issues with it, and finally …
 
In addition to introducing us to our prior guest, James Wilke, the International Surgical Science Museum also joined us to talk about the work that their museum is doing. We'll talk about a variety of subjects including some international skeletal remains housed in their collection, paying tribute to an ancient surgical technique. We'll find out wh…
 
Thanks to a listener suggestion we have this week's masterpiece. In this week's episode we'll talk about "Dr." John Brinkley who's affection for transplanting goat balls would be impressive if he weren't a charlatan. Could you imagine building a career of lies on something like this? No? Well, you're a better person than this guy. We bring you the …
 
Our guest this week is author Paul Craddock, here to share his new book with us. Spare Parts is his first published work and is an excellent read into the history of one of the most complicated frontiers in medicine, transplant surgery. Stretching back to the 16th century and arriving into the present day, we'll go over some of the discoveries that…
 
Addendum: There were some errors in the original audio file caught by early listeners. These were corrected but early downloaders may have the old version. Apologies for that. This week we bring you part two of our deep dive into the history of smallpox and the discovery of vaccination. We'll talk about smallpox in the Americas and the unimaginable…
 
Tik Merauke - An Epidemic Like No Other by Dr. John Richens, available from Melbourne University Publishing. ---->> Click HERE to purchase. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In this week's episode we are joined by author and physician, Dr. John Richens, all the way from the U.K. He is…
 
Any medical history podcast needs to spend some time talking about perhaps the worst and most culturally influential infectious disease we've known: smallpox. So we're going to do this in two parts, starting with an overview of how smallpox affected various areas of the world and truly shaped the whole of human civilization. It's also one of those …
 
This week brings us to the Lancaster Medical Heritage Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to talk with their director, Kim Jovinelli. She does just about everything at the museum and you might recognize her if you've spent any time looking at medical history stuff on TikTok where she and her staff give glimpses of life at the museum and share fun med…
 
If you can believe it, there once was a time when your friendly neighborhood barber might do more than cut your hair and give a close shave. For many centuries, barbers took on numerous surgical, medical, and even dental procedures when others would not. In this episode we'll talk about the role of the barber-surgeon, from their beginnings to the d…
 
Welcome to the first of a series of episodes taking a deep dive into some of the most interesting medical museums in the world, starting here in the U.S. with our friends of the show at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Kyle Dalton will join us from their ranks to take us behind the scenes of the museum itself, and to discuss varied topics…
 
It's about time we talk about one of the most iconic physicians of ancient Greece. Galen is a well known name in medical circles. Many precepts in medicine can be traced back to him. His teachings lasted the better part of 2,000 years and were the foundation for the medical schools of yesteryear. That being said, Galen was wrong about a lot of phys…
 
Episode 37 In this week's show, Aaron will take us on a tour of the medical historical explanations behind some of the most iconic creatures of the night. Myths arise from many places and, as it turns out, the legends of things such as vampires, werewolves, and zombies could possibly stem from historical misunderstandings of various medical conditi…
 
As we approach the objectively best holiday of the year in Max's humble opinion, we thought it best to do some Halloween themed episodes for the month of October. In this episode we'll talk about the link between modern medications and their roots in what were suspected practices of witchcraft. There seemed to be magic in the salves and potions use…
 
What was missing from this point in this podcast was a good true crime episode. So here you go! This is the story of Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, a physician and serial killer that, despite his best efforts to NOT hide his crimes all that well, took way to long to be caught. There is also speculation he may have been Jack the Ripper. This is a dark and …
 
While we’re usually reaching far into the past on this show, this week’s episode will feature a discussion of the tragic death of Princess Diana. We’ll focus on the details of the case from the standpoint of physicians doing trauma care in the modern day. We’ll question as to whether the outcome might have changed given modern technology or differe…
 
We are joined by special guest educator Patrick Kelly on this collaborative episode. Here we'll talk about severe allergic reactions and how early discoveries in the treatment of such led to a revolutionary life-saving technology: the auto-injector pen. Commonly known as an Epipen, this little bit of medical marvel was the culmination of a fascinat…
 
Not all of the ideas a person has while under the influence of drugs and alcohol are winners. There are exceptions, however. This is a fascinating story about the discovery of a revolutionary anesthetic technique all thanks to two inebriated German physicians playing around with spinal taps, hammers, and self-experimentation in the 1890's. It gets …
 
This episode features a special guest! We welcome Erik and Russ, the hosts of the Wisconsin Drunk History Podcast to the show to share in this unexpectedly far-reaching homegrown tale. We'll dive into the story of how moldy hay, hemorrhaging livestock, and a literal bucket of blood helped a University of Wisconsin Biochemist discover a medicine tha…
 
This week's episode features a special guest collaboration! Kyle Dalton, from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine joined us on the show to talk about the origins of ambulance service. Believe it or not, figuring out how to safely extract wounded soldiers was not a high priority at the time of the U.S. Civil War. Fortunately, we'll talk about …
 
This week's episode features a dig through an interesting article from the British Medical Journal with a proposed medical diagnosis for King George III--you know the one who was supposedly "mad". It turns out that while he was presiding over the monarchy during the American Revolution and issues with Napoleon, he may have been struggling with quit…
 
In this super-exciting special episode the Poor Historians interview author Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris about her new book, The Facemaker. The Facemaker centers on the incredible achievements of Dr. Harold Gillies, a plastic surgeon in WWI who not only helped restore the identities of injured soldiers with severe facial injuries, but developed a multitu…
 
Dr. Joseph Lister revolutionized the practice of medicine. He used the scientific method to make medicine and surgery safer. Set against a backdrop of Victorian-era surgical practice, as grim as that was, is this overview of Dr. Lister's triumphant career as a good guy in the annals of science and medical history. The Butchering Art, by Dr. Lindsey…
 
Every so often we let Mike choose topics without supervision. This episode is an example of this. We started with an examination of a famous case of early colorectal surgery and found ourselves in the bowels of the annals of medical history. Sponsor: Artery Ink Use promo code PHPOD at Artery Ink's website to save 10%* on your order of $35 or more a…
 
This episode reveals how long mental health care has come over the centuries. Part asylum, part zoo, Bedlam Hospitals history is a fascinating story about a famous institution carrying a name that came to be synonymous with the idea of chaos itself. Much of the source material for this episode comes from articles written by Dr. Jonathan Andrews at …
 
In this episode we'll discuss the various uses of mercury--yes, the liquidy metal that your parents told you not to touch--as a medicine. It was used for colic in babies as well as to treat syphilis in adults. It didn't work for either but, hey, it did produce something called "Mad Hatter" syndrome. One of our most popular characters will make a re…
 
Her name is synonymous with excellence in nursing for good reason. Here we'll talk about one of the most famous nurses ever to take up the charge of giving good practical advice to doctors who did their best to ignore it much to the detriment of their patients. She was well before her time. Sponsor: Artery Ink Use promo code PHPOD at Artery Ink's w…
 
The feature of this episode is a remarkable survival story, one which occured within the past 30 years. The other side of this coin is a discussion of the awful origins of much of the research on hypothermia and survival through nazi "experiments" (torture) during WWII. Sponsor: Artery Ink Use promo code PHPOD at Artery Ink's website to save 10%* o…
 
We are back!! So sorry to have kept you waiting. This episode has some commentary in the beginning you can skip through and jump right into the Valley Fever content if you want around the 15min mark. Then we talk about Valley Fever and its history.. More fascinating that I first realized. By the say, I accidentally cuss in the first 15 mins which i…
 
Marie Curie and her husband discovered radium and radioactivity in 1898. Soon thereafter everything has radium in it, from beauty products to glow in the dark timepieces. Who would have thought there was a tragic price to be paid for all that "healthy glow?" Sponsor: Artery Ink Use promo code PHPOD at Artery Ink's website to save 10%* on your order…
 
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