As a biology major and as someone who is automatically wired to think about the mechanical/technical (thinking about the biological mechanisms) aspects of healthcare and medical practice when the topic comes about, learning about the ethical, sociological and historical aspect of wound healing etc was refreshing and provided me a new perspective. During the talk, Ana mentioned that wars often pushed advancement in medical fields–this was an interesting thing to consider. And I being intrigued, I did further research on medical advancements during wars. I found that there were many medical advancements during almost all large wars, especially the World Wars where there were many injuries and diseases that needed to be dealt with. An example of an advancement is shown below:

“After the First World War had established orthopaedic surgery as a specialism…Orthopaedic surgeons had been very busy during the war. They had amputated many limbs and mended many broken bones, aided by a number of devices such as the Thomas splint, which allowed a bone to knit properly. After the war, fracture clinics were opened, tuberculosis of the joints was treated and orthopaedics became firmly established as one of the oldest specialisms in the UK.”

(“Brought to Life: Exploring the History of Medicine.” War and Medicine. Science Museum, London, n.d. Accessed 10 Oct. 2015.

Hearing about how surgeries and drugs prescribed to patients during WWI were often experimental at the talk was shocking at first hear, but I now understand that these ‘experiments’, though maybe brutal and unethical, probably lead to the great medical advancements like ones mentioned above.

It was also interesting to learn about how places for medical practices (such as hospitals) were observed from a sociological and ethical point of view. For instance, it was interesting learning that the hospitals during WWI always encouraged/told to smile, to the extent that that they were sometimes seen as a place that is trying to be ‘fakely and overly optimistic,’ or that nurses played an important role in healing the mind and the soul as well as the physical for the wounded soldiers.

The futurists viewpoints on medical practices/advancements and places for medical practices provides a different angle on the same topic. For example, while many others saw hospitals as a depressing and hopeless place as I mentioned earlier, the futurists saw it as a place of mechanistic practices, and puts a positive connotation when saying such things.

The talk by Ana provided me with a more holistic idea of medical practices, and wound healing, and allowed me to think about the topic from a multiple perspectives, many of which I did not consider or have before.


Relevant Links: