Dr. Mütter's Marvels

Dr. Mütter's Marvels

A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine

Book - 2014
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A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country's most famous museum of medical oddities. Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools-or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the middle of the nineteenth century. Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time. Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia's Mütter Museum. Award-winning writer Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz vividly chronicles how Mütter's efforts helped establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation-despite intense resistance from his numerous rivals. (Foremost among them : Charles D. Meigs, an influential obstetrician who loathed Mütter's "overly" modern medical opinions.) In the narrative spirit of The Devil in the White City, Dr. Mütter's Marvels interweaves an eye-opening portrait of nineteenth-century medicine with the riveting biography of a man once described as the "P.T. Barnum of the surgery room."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Gotham Books, 2014
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781592408702
Branch Call Number: 617.092 MUTTER APTOWIC
Characteristics: 371 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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8767julie Mar 27, 2016

I loved this book. Engrossing, easy to read and understand.
I learn a lot about early surgery and am very glad we have anaesthesia! How ghastly to have limbs removed without painkillers. I would love to visit Dr Mutters museum in Philadelphia some day.

Jan 27, 2015

Captivating reading both as a biography and as a history of how far medicine has come in 150-odd years. Imagine surgery without anesthetic, without recovery rooms or sterile conditions. Most doctors weren't aware of germs and thought "bad air" was the cause of disease.

eferry Sep 27, 2014

A great read!
Learn about the doctor behind the Philadelphia museum (also worth the mention). I was astonished at what a revolutionary figure he was in the evolution of medicine in the US.

But, a warning- there are a few sections that are somewhat graphic involving 19th century surgery. I had to skip a few passages for the sake of my stomach!


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