Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Greatest Benefit to Mankind

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c3762 (Published 14 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3762
  1. Michael FitzPatrick, foundation year 1, Homerton University Hospital, London
  1. mebfitz@gmail.com

    A true medical classic should read as if the author wrote the book with your exact needs in mind, and when my interest in medical history burgeoned at medical school I found such a book in The Greatest Benefit to Mankind. Roy Porter, then professor of social history at the Wellcome Institute, said in his introduction that he wrote the book because when “[I am asked] to recommend an up-to-date and readable single-volume history of medicine, I have felt at a loss to know what to suggest. Writing it has made it clear why so few …

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