Doctors used to prescribe ‘Obecalp,’ a sugar pill that is literally ‘placebo’ spelled backwards, for various illnesses such as psychosomatic disorders and chronic ailments.
The “Doctor” title was appropriated by physicians, who took it from academia. History has dictated the use of the courtesy title Dr by physicians and general practitioners. However, surgeons do not use the title of Dr and, due to the origins of surgery with the barber surgeons.
Drayton Daugherty was a doctor who cured a dying man by pretending to undo a voodoo hex in a last ditch effort after modern medicine didn’t work. The man believed he was cured and lived for ten more years.
Hans Münch was a doctor known as The Good Man of Auschwitz because he refused to assist in the atrocities. His experiments were elaborate farces intended to protect inmates. He was the only person acquitted of crimes at the 1947 Auschwitz trials after many inmates testified in his favour.
For 30 years Paul Shuen was one of Canada’s most respected obstetricians and gynecologists. His license to practise in Ontario was revoked after it was discovered that, since deliveries paid more on weekends, he was drugging his patients without their knowledge to induce labor on Saturday.
Chinese doctor Jiang Yanyong, who exposed the cover-up of China’s SARS outbreak in 2003, was barred from traveling to the United States to collect a human rights award. He spent several months in custody for his efforts.
In 1929, W. Forssmann performed the first human heart cath on himself. He tricked the OR nurse, put himself under local anesthesia, inserted a catheter into his arm, then walked to the X-ray room to see if it reached his heart. He was fired from the hospital, but awarded the Nobel Prize in 1956.
Dr Barry Marshall was convinced that H.pylori bacteria causes stomach ulcers, but no one believed him. Since it was illegal to test his theory on humans, he drank the bacteria himself, developed ulcers within days, treated them with antibiotics and went to win a Nobel prize.