One of the things that has delighted me over the years is the history of medicine lectures that start each morning at ISTM conferences. Usually presented by a fairly well know but local academic these have been relevant, entertaining and educational.
This conference is no different. Today’s topic, presented by Professor Hillen from the Netherlands is From House of God to Academic Hospital – a History of Medicine in Maastricht.
I think most of us forget that “organized” delivery of care was since earliest times in western Europe, the right, responsibility and mission of religion and religious orders. Not being any different than other cities – Maastricht, with the original city being founded in Roman times saw early the establishment of hospices to care for the poor under the religious umbrella.
From there it is not much of either a physical or intellectual jump to see how care evolved through the centuries with areas being set outside the city walls both for leprosy and later for plague.
From these humble beginnings developed one of the first guilds of barber surgeons, later medical schools in the region till today as a academic center. I have more pictures, but these were the ones that delighted me the most.
Tomorrow we will hear from Dr Marc Coosemans, a Belgian entomologist about the history of malaria in the region and we will finish on Wednesday morning with the History of the Dutch East India Company.
Much of the rest of today was taken up with more discussions on malaria, vaccines and fast and furious section on trauma and injury in travel.