Book review: The Making of Modern Medicine

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 53, No. 9, November 2011, Page 492 News

book cover for the making of modern medicine

The Making of Modern Medicine: Turning points in the treatment of disease. By Michael Bliss. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4426-4175-4. Hardcover: 104 pages. $21.95. 

Michael Bliss is not a physician, but he is a man with a rare insight into medical matters, both ancient and mod­ern. The achievements of contemporary medicine cannot be appreciated unless they are placed in a historical context. In his book The Making of Modern Medicine Bliss achieves this goal. The current trend in Canadian health care is based on the term “transformation.” We should understand that in historical terms the evolution of, and the transformation to, modern medicine occurred in a relative mi­crosecond. 

Bliss focuses on some vital milestones in that process and emphasizes a number of historically important Canadian contributions. Using his expertise as a historian, he describes where our profession has been in the past and offers some food for thought on where we may be headed in the future.

He has managed to accomplish this task in a concise book that puts across its message in under 100 pages. It is a particularly pleasing (but rare) talent to be able to write in a clear, simple, and succinct style. 

Brian Day, MB. Book review: The Making of Modern Medicine. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 9, November, 2011, Page(s) 492 - News.

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