Intended for healthcare professionals

Medical Milestones 2007

Medical Milestones 2007

Medical Milestones 2007
The BMJ's poll to find the greatest medical breakthrough since 1840.

Which of the medical breakthroughs of the past 166 years is the most important? If we could have only one of them, which would it be?

We asked BMJ readers to tell us, in less than 100 words, what their choice would be. Read the initial nominations

The top 15 nominations were then championed by individual doctors and leaders in their field. Read what each champion has to say about their chosen milestone or download a PDF of the complete listing in the Medical Milestones supplement.

The 15 nominations were then put to the public vote, and between 5 and 14 January 2007 over 11000 votes were cast. Read the full results

The winner was announced at a presentation ceremony, hosted by Jon Snow. Watch as Sanitation is announced the winner.

But that is not the end of the story. You can participate further in the debate by attending one of these future events:

April - October 2007
University of Sydney, School of Public Health
15 Greatest Medical Milestones: Lecture Series

Each lecture will be held in the Eastern Avenue Lecture Series, with the following timings (draft agenda):
5.00pm - 6.00pm Refreshments
6.00pm - 6.40pm - Speaker one
6.40pm - 7.20pm - Speaker two

Wednesday 24 October 2007
Vaccines: Conquering untreatable diseases
Professor Robert Booy and Professor Peter McIntyre

Transplantation - transforming outcomes
Associate Prof Phil O'Connell and Associate Professor Jeremy Chapman

This lecture series is presented in association with the British Medical Journal and co-hosted by The Medical Foundation and The Medical Graduates Association.

Information on these events may be subject to alteration and updating. Please revisit this page closer to the event for further information.

Past Events

Wednesday 26 September 2007
Anaesthesia: Symbol of humanitarianism
Professor Michael Cousins

Discovery of DNA structure: The best is yet to come
Professor Ron Trent

21- 22 September 2007
Medical Milestones in Bogotá, Colombia
To commemorate its 65th anniversary, the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá organized a high level forum discussing each of the BMJ's Medical Milestones. Presentation to follow.

Wednesday 29 August 2007
Oral rehydration therapy: The simple solution for saving lives
Professor Elizabeth Elliott

Sanitation: Pragmatism works
Dr Jeremy McInulty, NSW Health

Wednesday 25 July 2007
Smoking and health: halting the global "brown plague"
Professor Simon Chapman

Evidence based medicine: Doctors' and patients' sharpest tool
Associate Prof Alex Barratt

Watch the webcast and download the slides.

University of Sydney, School of Public Health

Wednesday 27 June 2007
Antibiotics: The epitome of a wonder drug
Associate Professor Peter Collignon

Germ theory: Invisible killers revealed
Professor Lyn Gilbert

Watch the webcast and download the slides.

Wednesday 30 May 2007
The pill: Emblem of liberation
Professor Ian Fraser

Medicines for the tortured mind
Professor Ian Hickie

Watch the webcast

Wednesday 2 May 2007
Tissue culture: Solving the mysteries of viruses and cancer
Professor Tony Cunningham
X-Rayted - the story behind the film: The discovery of X-rays
Clinical Associate Professor Bruno Giuffre

Watch the webcast and download the slides.

Tuesday April 10 2007
Computers: Changing the way we learn, live, communicate, and treat
Dr Tony Delamothe, BMJ
Professor Michael Kidd

Watch the webcast and download the slides.

University of Manchester Café Scientifique
A free seminar featuring champions for the top medical milestones in the BMJ's public poll, where the audience can vote for the one they think has been the most significant.

Speakers include:
Dr Alison Tonks (BMJ) - Introduction
Professor Michael Worboys (University of Manchester) - Vaccines
Professor John Pickstone (University of Manchester) - Sanitation
Dr Stephanie Snow (University of Manchester) - Anaesthesia
Dr Robert Bud (Science Museum) - Antibiotics
Date: Tuesday 27 February 2007, 6.30-8pm
Venue: Café Muse, The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 7QQ.
Further information on finding the venue can be found on the Café Muse website
Cost: free.
More information about the event