Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Most Famous Speech in Medical History

 
Robert Koch and Tuberculosis.
Koch's Famous Lecture

Robert Koch, a German physician and scientist, presented his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), on the evening of March 24, 1882. He began by reminding the audience of terrifying statistics: "If the importance of a disease for mankind is measured by the number of fatalities it causes, then tuberculosis must be considered much more important than those most feared infectious diseases, plague, cholera and the like. One in seven of all human beings dies from tuberculosis. If one only considers the productive middle-age groups, tuberculosis carries away one-third, and often more."

Koch's lecture, considered by many to be the most important in medical history, was so innovative, inspirational and thorough that it set the stage for the scientific procedures of the twentieth century....


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