Table of Contents

1. Overview

Medicine is the art and craft of diagnosing and reparing biological (specifically human) problems. Obviously, the first step is a sound basis in Biology, which in turn relies on Chemistry, plus a bit of Physics.

After that, it is a matter of knowing the specifics of the human body (marieb04), and how to fix it (harrison01, #acs2005).

marieb04 is a general purpose anatomy and physiology text, used by R.N.'s. harrison01 is a physiology and internal medicine text, used by M.D.'s. In the nurses' text you get a general overview of the systems and how they work. In the doctors' text you get more detailed data, with biochemistry, mathematical formulas for metabolic rates, and exotic disease mechanisms. Beyond that level, you can get full texts on specific organs, metabolic pathways, diseases, and surgical techniques.

If you can't fix the problem with non-invasive techniques, you turn to surgery. In the old days, people died from the shock of surgery, or from the infections. These days (in a good hospital, not crippled by HMO cost-cutting maneuvers), the big problem is rehabilitation -- regaining full functionality. THat concern has led to "closed surgery, where the work is done through small incisions, using scopes and probes instead of slashing the patient wide open. #acs2005 describes both forms.

All of this of course depends on a massively advanced technology for diagnosis and treatment. In an emergency, far from medical support, you need advanced first aid. wilkerson2001 is a good text.

2. References


American College of Surgeons. "ACS Surgery: Principles and Practice", 2005. WebMD, 2005. ISBN 0-9748327-4-X.

The non-MD, and even the non-surgeon MD, should consider this sort of text informative but not an invitation. If civilization collapses and this text is all that is left, then you can perhaps use it to practice on farm animals (esp pigs), until you have a good success rate -- and only then (with no real surgeons to be found) try it on people.

Dennis l. Kasper, Anthony S, Fauci, Dan L. Longo, Eugene Braunwald, Stephen L. Hauser, J. Larry Jameson, editors. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine", 16th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2005. ISBN 0-07-140235-7.

I read it originally in 1974. Recently I bought the 16th edition, and have read most of it. Sort of the Chilton's repair manual for cellular mechanisms of the human body. Each section explains the normal morphology and physiology, then the various things that can go wrong, then the ways to fix what went wrong, and then the tradeoffs and regimens (algorythms) for selecting treatments. Naturally, this is no substitute for a full medical degree, but you can at least understand what the doc is telling you.

Elaine N. Marieb. "Human Anatomy and Physiology", 6th ed. Benjamin CUmmings, 2004. ISBN 0-8053-5463-8.

James A. Wilkerson. "Medicine for Mountaineering", 5th ed. The Mountaineers, 2001. ISBN 0-89886-799-1. Detection, diagnosis, and treatment of wilderness perils. Heat, cold, altitude, trauma, consipation.

Creator: Harry George
Updated/Created: 2016-10-25