From the publishing house’s useless knowledge series “Yes”, after “useless cooking knowledge”, “useless football knowledge” and “useless toilet knowledge”, and “useless medical knowledge” now published. Doctor Jürgen Prater reveals all kinds of weird, scary, and amazing things about medicine.
In 14 chapters, he presents, among other things, the funniest real doctors names from surgeon Dr. Bone fracture to urologist Dr. Hose, the most complicated technical terms, the most obscure phobias and the most questionable beginnings of the art of healing: surely, the infamous bloodletting used to be a cure for all sorts of ailments. But did you know that in the Middle Ages, elixirs made of mercury and the hair of the hanged or the brain of unbaptized children were prescribed against impotence? At that time, the doctor recommended that gout patients boil the anthill and its inhabitants in water and then bathe in the syrup.
Even worse, the self-proclaimed experts specialize, for example, in the treatment of cataracts: “To do this, they pierced the cornea, implanted the cloudy lens and simply put pressure on the remnants of tissue on the inside of the eye.” So you can be happy who did not fall into the hands of healers at that time. Prater writes that Ludwig van Beethoven may also have been a victim of his doctors. This at least refers to a study on poetry by American researchers, which revealed a significantly increased concentration of lead in horn music. Perhaps the blame was on his doctor: “Because he treated pneumonia, which the composer contracted while riding in a rainy carriage, with lead salts, which were considered an expectorant at that time.”
Unfortunately, these sensational stories are mainly followed by puns and absurdities such as a list of human buttocks names, things to know about bloating and the Bristol Chair Shape Scale, by which doctors classify stools in terms of shape and consistency. Anyone who can take this still has a worthwhile reading ahead of them. The little book is entertaining and can be read easily in a day: a nice gift for doctors and those who want to become one.