Sometimes, I marvel at the history of medicine. It's amazing to think that 50 years ago, antibiotics were new to the world. Only 30 years ago, coronary angioplasty was a revolutionary procedure. It's strange to think that only 20 years ago, the thought of using beta blockers in heart failure was an absolute contraindication.
It's one of the things I love about medicine. Things change, and things that we take for granted were only just discovered, and that in the history of the world, modern medicine is barely older than the personal computer.
But I have to admit, if I had to choose, I think the best time to be a doctor would've been the late 1800's and the turn of that century. I can think of no more seminal moment in the history of medicine than when Lister said: Hey, maybe we should clean these tools off?
I love the history of science, and it's drawn me to Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Because Boyle, Newton, Leibniz, Hooke, these gentlemen are known to me. And my accomplishments in life are along a road paved by men such as these.