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What do you think is the most important medical discovery?

Discussion in 'Medical School Interviews' started by brianfall, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. brianfall

    brianfall New Member

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    Hi all, this is a question off the HYMS website;

    What do you think is the most important medical discovery in the last 100-200 years and why?

    There are so many! Off the top of my head I am thinking; Louis Pasteur's germ theory of disease, antibiotics, vaccination, X-Rays, insulin, mapping the structure of DNA, organ transplants, keyhole surgery, stemcell research ... in no particular order...

    But which is the most important? I really have no idea! Any ideas?!
     
  2. Rachaelq

    Rachaelq New Member

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    Got asked that one at st Georges last year and was completely stumped! don't think it actually matters what you say as long as you can justify why you feel it was so important!
     
  3. Varied A

    Varied A New Member

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    I think I'd possibly go with X-Ray.

    But it might be appropriate to point out a small "shortlist" and say that they all contributed equally. ie/ they might have invented some fantastic new medicine which saved the world, but it's useless if they hadn't invented the intravenous needle first (assuming that's how it's taken, of course!!).
     
  4. Em Cole

    Em Cole New Member

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    I think if you said what you wrote, at an interview it would be a good answer. There have been so many important developments it is hardto chose, as long as you could talk about a few it wouldn't been seen as a cop out answer, but as balanced and well informed.
    If i had to say one, i would say Flemmings discovery of Pennicillin, i think no other development has saved as many lives.
     
  5. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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    Penicillin! :D luvvly stuff! 8)

    yey ma History of Medicine lecturer (the Honorary Emeritus of sum posh college old geeza) said the same az well... and he sure knows his stuff. . He also had a few fingz to say about Flemings second wife Amalia Koutsouri-Voureka .... largely unprintable here... :wink:
     
  6. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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    though i personally fink that when they realised rolling people under a cider-barrel to cure illnesses wasnt workin, then our civilsation wuz onto a winner... :eek:
     
  7. Mac5800

    Mac5800 Guest

    id go with imaging techniques (eg xray, mri, fmri, ct, pet)-revolutionised medical diagnosis
     
  8. llama

    llama New Member

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    I would say Edward Jenner and vaccinations is one for the shortlist.

    Without vaccinations we would still have people regularly dying from smallpox in this country amongst other nasty bugs.

    My vote would go to Penicillin though. It is hard to believe that a simple chest infection would have possibly killed you before the discovery of that stuff.
     
  9. Spencer Wells

    Spencer Wells Noodly Doctory Moderator

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    I'd say proper sanitation, John Snow's epidemiology about cholera and the Broad Street pump. While this didn't in itself really stop the epidemic (it had already contained itself,) combined with the germ theory of disease it revolutionised medicine at the time.
     
  10. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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    wel u wuld, wuldntcha? its rite up your street, pal. :lol:
     
  11. rjm

    rjm New Member

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    You could mentioned that virtually all medicine that we practise now is evidence based and therefore dependent on some form of "discovery" and without any of it medical practices would not be as developed as we know. Therefore it is difficult to pinpoint any one thing, and of course is important to different things ie, insulin v important to diabetics etc etc
     
  12. exms

    exms New Member

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    The problem with this sort of question is that there are literally dozens of possible answers, and you and your interviewers might not agree. I was sneered at for answering x-ray to a similar question :(

    xmas
     
  13. hotdoghk88

    hotdoghk88 New Member

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    For over a hundred year, there is a Nobel Prize for medicine every year. Dont think anyone can say which year the prize is more important.
     
  14. j00ni

    j00ni New Member

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    i am with Donnie Darko on this one, antiseptics
     
  15. jamrolypoly

    jamrolypoly New Member

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    well, i like Banting and Best's (et al) good ol' discovery, but then i'm an insulin guzzler..and allergic to penicillin..it's impossible to say which is the most important, as everyone else has said!
     
  16. furryriverrat

    furryriverrat New Member

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    Fleming, penicillin

    Just a point on how Occi-centric we are. Marco Polo noted that the Chinese were using bread mold to treat infections. Western medicine was not able to take the hint for years afterward. Not the only time that we westerners claimed a "discovery" that was very old by the time it got here.
     
  17. mtranter

    mtranter New Member

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    Wow, this is a broad one. I would have to say Edward Jenner for his vaccinations, Pateur for bacteria work, Pennicillin by Fleming and the discovery of the genome and DNA. The reason I chose the last oen is that it gives us so much chance to expand and increase medicine's possibilities, as one day our knowledge of DNA and RNA could help us to eradicate flu, colds, HIV etc.
     
  18. o11y

    o11y New Member

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    I think possibly pasteur, i remember studying him back in year 10.

    (and Wow mtranter thats a lot of AS levels!)
     
  19. yazoo

    yazoo New Member

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    I'd pick one of the things that has a profound influence on life expectancy within the general population. Which one(s) of these I'd pick is(are) a matter of global importance still...

    Read some history of medicine books - they are very :cool: if you are interested in medicine.
     
  20. Bentley911

    Bentley911 New Member

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    Im gonna be really controversial and say stem cell research and the use of someones own cells to repair damage. Did some background reading on it and was pretty awestruck when i finally grasped the concept that you could take a few cells from a person, culture them and reprogramme them and then put em back. Obviously its not exactly a perfected therapy yet and not legal but I reckon its going to get really big when it gets going properly.

    And by the way, Im not one of those people that sees a little, quivering ball of cells as a human being so I have absolutely no qualms about using embryos for research, especially when they would only get destroyed otherwise!
     

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