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Ten things you should know about people who changed the face of healthcare


They noticed things

They wanted to solve a problem

They were charismatic

They were risk takers

They were resourceful

They were tenacious

They were considered crazy

They were great communicators

They weren’t all doctors

Their ideas weren’t instantly adopted

Alexander Fleming noticed that mould had grown on the culture plates in his untidy laboratory, the rest is history. Edward Jenner wanted to rid the world of small pox, and did. Atul Gawande challenges the conventional wisdom and is an excellent communicator. Barry Marshall infected himself with Helicobacter Pylori. Timothy Presto designed child incubators from car parts. Florence Nightingale faced repeated opposition throughout her life. Ignaz Semmelweis was committed to a psychiatric institution because he promoted hand washing by doctors to reduce the risk of infection during childbirth. Anthony Atala gives a TED talk on regenerative medicine. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, a zoologist, leads the largest biotech company in India, she was consider unfit to study medicine. William Harvey’s ideas on the circulatory system were not widely accepted by the medical profession. Two things are true of such people today, they are determined and they don’t all personally benefit from what they do for us.

Picture by U.S. Department of defence

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