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Joseph Lister's Contributions to Medical Science Essay

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Imagine for one moment that you are living in the 1800’s and are in need of medical help. During this time surgeons were known for the treating of wounds, amputations, and treatment of broken bone. Picture yourself lying on a dirty cot, or soiled table waiting for the surgeon to come in. When he finally enters he is wearing a bloody, dirty apron and informs you that the only option is to remove your limb. He calls in for help in holding you down and picks up a stained saw and prepares to remove your leg. Your mind flashes back to the numerous people who came before you and died shortly after having this procedure done. Will you die during the operation or like so many others survive only to succumb to fever and gangrene and die after? Thanks to a man named Joseph Lister your chances of survival are greater that those who came before.
Joseph Lister was born into the Society of Friends, a Quaker community, to Joseph Jackson Lister and Isabella Harris on April 5, 1827 in Upton, England. His father was a scientist who was known for his invention of the achromatic microscope. Lister was one of five children and showed a marked interest in the study of botany and zoology. While attending school among the Quakers he became fluent in the languages of French and German both of which were being used in medical research. Later in 1844, Lister
gained entrance into the University of London. This is important because during this time all those wishing to attend a university had to swear an oath to the king and church of England which as a Quaker he could not do. Lister graduated with a Bachelor in Medicine and went on to attend the Royal College of Surgeons at the age of 25. During his internship at the University Hospital in London he ...


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...own his medical practice. Thanks to the help and encouragement of his friends he accepted the Secretaryship of the Royal Academy. Lister seemed to revive with acceptance of this position and gained pleasure from corresponding with other scientists around the world. Lister also became active in politics and state matters until his death in 1912 from pneumonia.
As you can see Joseph Lister made great strides in the area of surgery and antiseptic. Without his research and experiments hospitals would still be places where most people went to die. Thanks to Lister and many others hospitals are now the clean and safe places that we go to heal. We no longer need to fear dying from simple procedures or looking up to see a doctor dressed in bloody clothes preparing to perform surgeries. Is it any wonder that Joseph Lister gained the title of the Father of Modern Medicine?



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