Medicine, an illustrated history by Lyons and Petrucelli has, because of its dimensions, occupied a conspicuous place in my library for more than two decades, and has been one of those books I have intermittently browsed when time permitted. Although its emphasis is not on contemporary medical history (there are undoubtedly better references), it is, nevertheless, one of the best, if not the most comprehensive illustrated historical record of medicine currently available. Recently, I examined its contents in more detail, and immediately become acutely aware of how little I knew about the origins of medicine in general and specifically orthopaedic surgery.
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