Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Medical Findings of William Harvey

There is a good chance that many people haven't even heard the name William Harvey let alone know any significant William Harvey Trivia. The truth however, is that many, many people have in some way, either directly or through someone they know have gained a benefit due to the contributions that he made. A William Harvey quiz might be something that a medical student could pass however, because William Harvey was a physician in England during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and his research had to do primarily with the circulatory system. He was the first western doctor to create an accurate description of how the heart works to pump blood throughout the body, knowledge that has become an absolutely critical part of the education of every physician trained since the time of Harvey.

Harvey was a talent and a skilled student, to the point that when he was sixteen years old he was awarded a medical scholarship. He completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in England, but on the advice laid down by school founder John Cauis, he went abroad to the University of Padua to complete his medical education. Once he had completed school he would return to London to practice as a doctor, but would quickly become a part of the educational institutions which were training new physicians as well. He became a fellow of the Royal Collage of Physicians, and would eventually become the head of house at Merton College as well.

An important part of William Harvey trivia is knowing that his most important work on the circulatory system was eventually published in the volume, " An Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals" which argued against the commonly held theories about blood circulation at the time. Harvey, contrary to popular belief, put forward the theory that the heart worked as a pump circulating blood through the entire body in a closed system, and his observations were found in later years to be totally correct, and became accepted and even taught during his own lifetime despite some initial opposition to the theory.

An interesting point for any William Harvey quiz would be that he was named by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. as on of the most influential people of the second millennium. All circulatory and cardiac medicine that would come would be based to some degree on his work.

No comments:

Post a Comment