The History of Medicine

2000 B.C.—Here, eat this root.

1000 A.D.—That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.

1850 A.D.—That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.

1920 A.D.—That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.

1945 A.D.—That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin.

1955 A.D.—Oops . . . bugs mutated. Here, take this tetracycline.

1960–1999—39 more “oops.” Here, take this more powerful antibiotic.

2000 A.D.—The bugs have won! Here, eat this root.

~ Anonymous (WHO, 2000)


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