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A Canadian physician has taken an historical approach to examining surgery, from ancient Greece to modern medicine and surgery. He started a podcast called Legends of Surgery and talks about some of the most interesting tidbits in this episode.

He discusses

  • Historical markers such as the sickness that lead to hand washing and why Europeans call the operating room “theater,”
  • The ways modern surgical procedures, step-by-step, have evolved over thousands of years, and
  • How modern surgery technology may evolve with robotic surgeries and other advancements.

Tyler Rouse specializes in anatomical pathology as a physician but has always been a history buff, especially regarding surgery.

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He spends his free time researching the specific histories behind surgery and has made an entertaining and enlightening podcast about his more significant finds. For example, he’s examined the horrors of J. Marion Sims, long considered the father of modern gynecology, who performed cruel experiments on slaves.

He discusses big leaps in surgery such as an important connection one doctor made about hand washing: Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that women were developing infections at a high rate after delivering their babies. He found out that medical students delivered babies right after working in the morgue, giving the women terrible infections. While the medical community shunned him, his findings eventually led to the vital practice of hand washing.

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He also discusses modern surgery techniques, such as impediments to improvement, risky types of surgery, and how the hardest decision a surgeon makes is typically when to operate. He and Richard talk about how to assess whether a surgeon is capable or not and other ways to navigate the system.

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He examines the attitudes toward the classification of surgery and medicine, how ancient medicine precluded any questioning and therefore any forward movement. He notes that while we now are better about not being limited by the “dogma” of tradition, we still could use a more open approach toward adopting advancements. Listen in for more interesting stories about the history of surgery. 

Legends of Surgery is available through most podcast sites and is on Facebook and Twitter.

Available on Apple Podcasts:

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