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Jews & Medicine



For at least a thousand years, on all the continents of their wanderings, Jews have been recognized by friend and foe as medical superstars. Even in intolerant surroundings they have filled the ranks of physicians, wildly out of proportion to their numbers in the population. Historically speaking, one might almost say that medicine has been the Jewish profession -- not just in our modern scientific age, but also in the long era when medicine was largely groping in the dark. The reasons for this intimate link between Jews and medicine have varied considerably across centuries and continents. Book learning, religious attitudes towards the body, superstitious awe among gentiles, the portability of medical knowledge across borders, historical tradition, and (in more modern times) independent and creative thinking of the outsider, have all played a role. The book tells the history of Jews in medicine as a flowing epic, from the (pre-) Biblical era to the mid-twentieth century, from the Middle East, through the countries of Southern, Eastern and Northern Europe, to the Orient, and to America  always against the backdrop of the cultural, religious, political, and scientific developments of the times. In so doing the book also narrates the most important scientific accomplishments of the likes of Maimonides (classical medicine), Cohn (germ thoery), Freud (psychoanalysis), Ehrlich (immunology and chemotherapy), Chain (penicillin), and Waksman (antibiotics), as well as many other luminaries and Nobel prize winners.

Hardcover 602pp.

Additional Information

Author Frank Heynick
Publisher Ktav Publishing House

Jews & Medicine