Book Review: From Anesthesia to X-Rays: Innovations and Discoveries That Changed Medicine Forever

Bernadette A. Lear


For those who have an interest in the history and current practice of medicine, Christiane Fabbri’s From Anesthesia to X-Rays provides a helpful starting point in terms of choosing topics for more in-depth study. Prioritizing selectivity over comprehensiveness, this small encyclopedia includes fifty clinical procedures, tests, medications, and other innovations that changed therapeutic practice. Some, including birth control pills and polio vaccination, may already be familiar to the general public. Others, such as cataract surgery and pacemakers, are not as frequently mentioned in popular media, but are definitely worth knowing about. The author’s consultations with the medical community and with Nobel Prize lists ensured that only the most important, widely-applicable, and time-tested breakthroughs are highlighted.

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