Episode 49: The Ether Dome

The world before anesthesia was brutal — surgeons inflicted torture on largely conscious patients, hoping to finish an operation as quickly as possible. But all of that changed with the introduction of inhaled ether. This episode covers the context behind the discovery of etherization, with myths about screaming medicinal plants, […]


Episode 48: Micrographia

Germs are regarded today with a combination of fear and disgust. But mankind’s first introduction to the microbial world started off on a very different foot. In this episode, as part of a larger series contextualizing germ theory, we’ll talk about the discovery of animalcules and how they forever changed […]


Summer Shorts #3: Insulin Drama

Bedside Rounds is on a summer vacation! In the meantime, I’m joined by journalist Dan Weissmann of the podcast An Arm and a Leg to talk about the tawdry history of the discovery of insulin.


Episode 47: The Criteria

  Can we ever know what causes a chronic disease? In this episode, I’m joined again by Dr. Shoshana Herzig to finish a three-part miniseries on Bradford Hill and Doll’s attempts to prove that smoking caused lung cancer. We’ll talk about the first prospective cohort trial in history, 1960s “Fake […]