Skip To Content
  • Quiz badge
Posted on May 11, 2017

Only A Medical Expert Can Score Over 14/17 On This Quiz

Medicine has come a LONG way, we'll just leave it at that.

Ken Tannenbaum / gettyimages.com / Via BuzzFeed News
  1. 1. Who is known as the "father of Western medicine?"

    fooTToo / gettyimages.com
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Hippocrates is known as the "father of Western medicine."

    Hippocrates was born on the Greek island of Kos in 460 B.C., and became the first physician of his time to popularize the idea that medical knowledge should come from clinical observations of the body and science, instead of religious beliefs. He experimented with diets, drugs, and herbal treatments to cure illness and apparently prescribed the first form of aspirin. One of his central theories was humoral medicine (which we'll get to), and he wrote many influential medical texts on diagnosis, epidemics, nutrition, and surgery.

  2. 2. What did he (the answer to question one) write that we still use today?

    pixelci / gettyimages.com
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Hippocrates is most famous for his oath.

    The original oath required new physicians to swear upon the Greek gods and goddesses that they'd uphold certain ethical standards when they practiced medicine, such as doing no harm, treating to one's best ability, respecting patient privacy, etc. The "Hippocratic Oath" has been re-written and modified over the centuries, but it has remained very important and new doctors are still required to take it today.

  3. 3. What are the four humors according to humoral medicine?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    The four humors are: blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm.

    The Humoral medicine theory originated in Ancient Greece and was rooted in the idea that the four humors (bodily fluids) dictated illness, behavior, and overall health. Illness, for example, was thought to be caused by an imbalance in the humors, and treatments like bloodletting or purging would restore balance. Each individual also had a unique humoral temperament or personality. Humoral medicine was later adopted by Roman, Islamic, and European physicians until its demise in the 18th century.

  4. 4. Who published the first modern anatomical drawings of the human body?

    commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Vesalius is known as the founder of modern human anatomy.

    Andreas Vesalius was a Belgian physician who lived in the 16th century. He is most famous for creating vivid, detailed anatomical drawings based on observations made during dissections. Vesalius combined his clinical observations with fine art skills to produce one of the most influential medical texts in history, De Corporis Humani Fabrica, a seven-book volume on human anatomy.

  5. 5. Edward Jenner created the world's first vaccine for which disease?

    Materialscientist / commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Edward Jenner created the smallpox vaccine!

    Edward Jenner was an English doctor in the late 18th century who developed the first successful vaccine to control an infectious disease: smallpox. In 1796, after observing that dairy maids who had cowpox were immune to smallpox, Jenner realized he could pass on this protection through inoculation. He took cowpox scabs and fluids from a dairy maid's arms and injected the matter into an 8-year-old boy. The boy got a fever but recovered, and later, after Jenner introduce smallpox into his body, he never developed the disease. Jenner called this process "vaccination," and it allowed physicians to control one of the deadliest diseases in human history.

  6. 6. The first successful anti-malarial drug, quinine, was discovered in the bark of the _______ .

    gettyimages.com
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Quinine comes from the bark of the cinchona tree.

    Quinine is a chemical compound found in the bark of the Latin American cinchona tree. It can treat malaria, a potentially fatal infectious disease that's caused by a parasite and spread to people through infected mosquitoes. The first documented use of quinine as an anti-malarial drug was among Jesuit missionaries in South America in the1600s, but the Indigenous population had probably been using it long before. The cinchona bark would be ground into a powder and mixed with water so people could drink it — the quinine would kill the parasite. Quinine has remained one of the most important anti-malarial drugs of the past 400 years.

  7. 7. What is "Gray's Anatomy?"

    jeffy1139 / gettyimages.com
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Gray's Anatomy is a medical textbook!

    Nope, we didn't spell it wrong! Grey's Anatomy, the popular TV show about hot doctors, is actually a play on the book title Gray's Anatomy, which some call the "bible of anatomy." The textbook was first published by Harry Gray in 1858 as a surgical anatomy guide for medical students —159 years and 39 editions later, it's still being sold and read today. It includes chapters on bones, muscles, the circulatory and nervous system, digestion and reproductive organs, etc., and has pretty much stayed the same except for added chapters and details. Although med students now use more modern textbooks, Gray's is still one of the most complete anatomy textbooks in history.

  8. 8. Sailors and pirates in the 1700s used to suffer from scurvy, a disease caused by:

    Wellcome Library / wellcomeimages.org / commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Scurvy is caused by a vitamin C deficiency.

    Scurvy symptoms include fatigue, bruising, swollen or bleeding gums, weight loss, shortness of breath, pain in the limbs, rash, and irritability. The deadly disease was common in the 17th and 18th centuries among sailors, pirates, and other seafarers who went on long journeys without proper nutrition — it can still occur in infants. In 1747, Scottish physician and surgeon James Lind was on a ship when he realized scurvy could be cured by eating citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, which contain high amounts of vitamin C.

  9. 9. Which of the following diseases killed the most people during the 20th century (1900s)?

    National Museum of Health and Medicine / journals.plos.org / commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    The Spanish flu killed the most people during the 20th century.

    Although polio, ebola, yellow fever, and measles killed many people, the Spanish flu pandemic was without a doubt the deadliest disease of the 1900s. From 1918 to 1919, the Spanish flu — also called the Flu of 1918 — caused illness in about 500 million people (25-30% of the world's population) and killed an estimated 40 million. The exact origins of the flu are unknown, but it was believed to be caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus, which mutated into a new flu strain that the human population wasn't immune to. As a result, the airborne virus spread like wildfire around the world — the first wave of the flu was in the spring of 1918, followed by two more deadly waves.

  10. 10. John Snow, the first epidemiologist, traced outbreaks of __________ to contaminated water pumps in London?

    justinc / commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    John Snow traced outbreaks of cholera.

    John Snow's research on cholera led to the birth of a new medical field, epidemiology: the study of disease patterns among populations. Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe, often fatal, diarrhea and dehydration. There were many deadly outbreaks in England in the mid-1800s, and doctors believed cholera was airborne. Snow argued that it was spread by contaminated food and water, and after an outbreak in London in 1854, he plotted cholera cases on a map and traced them to a contaminated water pump. Snow ordered for the pump to be removed, and the cases of cholera cases dropped immediately. His theories weren't accepted until a decade later, but they ignited major movements in public health and sanitation.

  11. 11. Which of the following diseases has been successfully eradicated?

    frank600 / gettyimages.com
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Smallpox has been eradicated.

    In 1980, smallpox was officially declared eradicated, which refers to the complete and permanent reduction of the disease to zero cases, worldwide. The other diseases have been eliminated from many countries, such as polio, or diminished by vaccines — but there are still numerous cases in the world. Smallpox causes painful pox or lesions on the body, and 3 in 10 people died from it, while most others were left permanently scarred. It was one of the most devastating diseases known to mankind. The first documented outbreaks occurred in 6th century China and Japan — by the 18th century, smallpox was all across the globe. After the discovery of the smallpox vaccine in 1796, disease rates fell. Smallpox was pretty much eradicated in the Americas, Australia, and Europe by the 1950s, but still endemic to parts of Asia and Africa. So in 1966, WHO launched a global eradication program. It ended in 1980, three years after the last natural case, which was in Somalia.

  12. 12. The infamous Tuskegee Study observed untreated ________ in black men.

    National Archives / en.wikipedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    The Tuskegee Study observed untreated syphilis in black men.

    In 1932, the US Public Health Service teamed up with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in black men. The 600 men who participated in the study received free medical exams and meals, but they did not give informed consent and were deceived by researchers into believing they were being treated. The study went on for 40 years, until 1972. In that time, the men never received syphilis treatment and many died, despite penicillin becoming the drug of choice for syphilis in 1947. After whistleblower researchers spoke out, the experiment was condemned and in 1973 participants filed a class action lawsuit, which ended in a $10 million settlement. The US government apologized and promised lifetime medical care and burial services for former participants, but the study remains one of the most infamous and unethical in history.

  13. 13. Joseph Lister introduced the principle of _________ to surgery.

    bruev / gettyimages.com
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Lister introduced antisepsis to surgery.

    Joseph Lister's principle of antisepsis changed the world of modern surgery. In the mid-1800s, surgery was primitive and infection wasn't well understood. Surgeons would get their lab coats get covered in blood and pus without washing them, and they wouldn't sanitize bed linens, surgical tools, or probes between patients — who'd often develop sepsis or gangrene and die. After studying wound healing, Lister linked the germs to infection, and in 1867, he tried using carbolic acid as an antiseptic on compound fracture wounds. This led to a drop in the rate of infections and deaths, and doctors began using carbolic acid spray, wearing gloves, and washing their hands and instruments. Lister's antiseptic techniques and emphasis on keeping wounds clean was a major advancement in modern surgery.

  14. 14. Who created the vaccines for rabies and anthrax?

    matthewzinder / gettyimages.com
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Louis Pasteur discovered the rabies and anthrax vaccines.

    Louis Pasteur was a french microbiologist and chemist who is known as one of the founders of the germ theory. Pasteur's famous experiments from the 1860s-1880s proved there was a relationship between germs and disease; the processes of fermentation and putrefaction; and the effectiveness of a sterilization technique, which used heat to kill bacteria (pasteurization). These discoveries led Pasteur to develop the first vaccines against anthrax, in 1881, and rabies, in 1882 — they both used attenuated (weakened) microbes to transfer immunity. Pasteur's discoveries marked the beginning of modern immunology.

  15. 15. Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern ____________ .

    commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Florence Nightingale is the founder of modern nursing.

    Florence Nightingale was a renowned nurse, statistician, and social reformer. She was born in 1820 and, after defying societal norms by studying nursing, she was sent to Turkey to care for British soldiers in the Crimean War. After observing that soldiers in the health camps were dying from communicable diseases and infection due to unsanitary conditions, she made interventions in hygiene and supportive care, which ended up saving thousands of lives. She focused on skilled and diligent nursing, and became known as the "lady with the lamp" for visiting her patients at all hours of the night. Years later, she established the first school of nursing in the world and helped transform nursing into a skilled, respected profession.

  16. 16. What was first used for anesthesia during surgery?

    Wellcome Library / wellcomeimages.org / commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Ether was the first anesthetic.

    Up until the mid-1800s, doctors did not use anesthesia while operating on patients — they were often conscious and in excruciating pain, so surgery was only done when necessary or to save a person's life. Doctors experimented with alcohol, opium, and chloroform to dull the pain, but none made the patient unconscious. Finally, in 1846 a dentist named William Morton discovered that ether, a colorless, highly flammable liquid, put patients to sleep. He soaked cloths or sponges with ether and had patients breathe in the fumes from a rudimentary inhaler. Although ether caused many side effects and would be later replaced by a safer, less flammable gas (nitrous oxide), it allowed doctors to make major advancements in surgery.

  17. 17. When was insulin first used to treat type 1 diabetes?

    Mr Hyde / commons.wikimedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Insulin was first used to treat diabetes in 1922.

    Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows our body to use the glucose from food for energy by moving it from the blood into cells — it also plays a part in regulating blood sugar. Type 1 diabetics do not produce insulin, so their blood sugar gets dangerously high, increasing risk for heart and nerve damage, kidney failure, coma, or death. Before the 1920s, diabetes was considered a deadly disease, and the only treatment were low-sugar diets, which kept diabetics alive for a few extra years at best. Canadian physician Frederick Banting knew diabetics had damaged pancreases, and experimented by injecting an extract from ground up pancreases into diabetic dogs. In 1922, Banting and diabetes researcher John MacLeod named the extract "insulin" and gave it to a dying 14-year-old diabetic boy, saving his life. Banting and MacLeod won the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of insulin, which remains a life-saving treatment for diabetics today and has extended their lifespan by decades.

Want to be the first to see product recommendations, style hacks, and beauty trends? Sign up for our As/Is newsletter!

Newsletter signup form