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History of Medicine Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
History of Medicine Quizzes, Trivia

History of Medicine Trivia

History of Medicine Trivia Quizzes

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Fun Trivia
26 quizzes and 262 trivia questions.
  What a Milestone!   best quiz  
Fun Fill-It
 12 Qns
Key Medical Discoveries of the 20th Century
Two retired physicians went into a bar. Doctors Pierce and McIntyre bought drinks and started talking about what they considered to be the greatest medical milestones of the 20th century. A transcript of their conversation follows.
Very Easy, 12 Qns, 1nn1, Sep 06 23
Very Easy
1nn1 gold member
Sep 06 23
309 plays
  Medical Marvels   top quiz  
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
Throughout history, humankind has developed many wonderful devices and techniques to heal illness and improve human health. Can you match ten of these remarkable innovations to the inventor(s) and year of discovery?
Easier, 10 Qns, MikeMaster99, Dec 30 21
MikeMaster99 gold member
Dec 30 21
666 plays
  Medical History   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Questions relating to the history of medicine.
Average, 10 Qns, sardine, Jun 11 23
Jun 11 23
9112 plays
  Is Laughter the Best Medicine?   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
There have been many amazing advances in medicine which have improved the lives of many people. This quiz aims to explore some of them.
Easier, 10 Qns, Tan72, Sep 02 21
Sep 02 21
759 plays
  Pavlov's Dogs   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
How much do you really know about the experiments Pavlov conducted on dogs in his landmark research which led to a 1904 Nobel prize?
Average, 10 Qns, looney_tunes, Apr 21 11
looney_tunes editor
3170 plays
  A Medical Check-Up   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Use this quiz to check up on your knowledge of medical history.
Average, 10 Qns, FatherSteve, Jul 21 14
FatherSteve gold member
2072 plays
  Taming the Demon Under the Microscope    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
"The Demon Under the Microscope" by Thomas Hager chronicles the development of sulfa drugs in the years between the World Wars. These predecessors to antibiotics were the first widely effective antimicrobials.
Easier, 10 Qns, MariaVerde, Jun 13 24
MariaVerde gold member
Jun 13 24
481 plays
  Medicine in Ancient Rome   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
In Rome and need a doctor? My doctor's surgery is now open. Step inside and see how we did it in the good old days. Oh... did I not mention it's 45 B.C.?
Average, 10 Qns, Tizzabelle, May 23 16
Tizzabelle gold member
2265 plays
Theres Mold in Them Thar Pills
  There's Mold in Them Thar Pills    
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
The historic use of medical apparatus covers many tools. Here is a quiz on some of these things.
Average, 10 Qns, dcpddc478, Feb 19 19
Feb 19 19
360 plays
  A Tour of a Victorian Pharmacy   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Take a trip through time to answer questions about the sights you might have seen in a Victorian era (1837-1901) British pharmacy. It was nothing like the modern experience of popping down to your local store for a prescription!
Average, 10 Qns, Fifiona81, Aug 12 14
Fifiona81 editor
640 plays
trivia question Quick Question
The 19th century saw the introduction of which very common household object to give enemas?

From Quiz "History of Enemas"

  What Did the Doc Say?   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz deals with ten names no longer in use that were once given by the medical profession to various conditions. How many do you know?
Easier, 10 Qns, Creedy, May 11 19
Creedy gold member
May 11 19
712 plays
  Ancient Medical Terms   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Would you know the meaning of these centuries old medical terms if they were still in use today - and perhaps still are?
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Feb 06 19
Creedy gold member
Feb 06 19
497 plays
  Great Leaps in Medical Practice   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
We all love to have our diseases cured and wounds healed... but how did doctors learn to do all that stuff?
Average, 10 Qns, drowsteel, Aug 07 22
Aug 07 22
1223 plays
  History of Enemas   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Some of it anyhow. It's quite interesting really. I hope you learn something new from it.
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Apr 27 17
Creedy gold member
522 plays
  Medieval Medical Treatments   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
It's no wonder people died so young during this period in history, you think? Many medieval medical treatments were certainly barbaric - but others, amazing.
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Sep 04 21
Creedy gold member
Sep 04 21
292 plays
  Obscure Medical and Health Terms   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten obscure terms related to the world of health and medicine for you. Some of these are quite comical. Have fun!
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Jul 03 15
Creedy gold member
740 plays
  Obscure Medical and Health Terms 2   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten more obscure terms from the past, now no longer in use, relating to the world of health and medicine.
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Aug 06 15
Creedy gold member
569 plays
  I'm Missing   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten quizzes on that most essential of equipment for missing teeth - dentures, prosthetic devices and false teeth. Take a big bite and off we go.
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Nov 07 21
Creedy gold member
Nov 07 21
797 plays
  Magic Bullets and Other Medical Milestones   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is a quiz about important medical discoveries, breakthroughs, and major events. No technical knowledge required.
Average, 10 Qns, daver852, Aug 02 13
daver852 gold member
646 plays
  Medicine in History   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
See how much you know about some of the famous (and not so famous) moments in medical history.
Difficult, 10 Qns, bullymom, Jul 29 09
4671 plays
  Kill or Cure!   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The 19th Century and the Victorian Era saw tremendous advances in medical discoveries and surgical practices. Within the course of 75 years, medicine and health care changed quite dramatically. Medicine was put on a true scientific footing.
Average, 10 Qns, Englizzie, Oct 18 16
734 plays
  A History of Hysteria   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
My - humble - attempt to answer questions you didn't know you had about hysteria. Warning: clinical terms appear in the quiz, not to make you uncomfortable, but to accurately describe perceptions and treatments of hysteria in the past.
Tough, 10 Qns, amidabutsu, Mar 06 13
545 plays
  Living in a Vaccination Nation    
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
This quiz will cover various vaccines, and the people credited with developing them. Just match the vaccine to the developer. Thanks to Kyleisalive for the Author's Challenge title. Have fun, and good luck!
Average, 10 Qns, jddrsi_raven, Apr 29 20
jddrsi_raven gold member
Apr 29 20
261 plays
  Inventors of Medical Devices    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is a quiz about a few of the inventors of medical devices and equipment in the 19th and 20th centuries. Most have been improved and are still in use today. The incorrect choices are also inventors and their inventions are noted.
Difficult, 10 Qns, YOMD39, May 12 04
2219 plays
  Nineteenth Century Medical Theories    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ebenezer Entwhistle suffered many symptoms, and received much contradictory advice, during his life in the early nineteenth century USA. Can you identify which of the competing medical theories his friends and doctors believed in, based on their advice?
Tough, 10 Qns, littlepup, Sep 24 14
293 plays
  History of Medicine    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is a short quiz on some of the significant events in the history of medicine. You must choose the date (but it's not that hard). You may be surprised at some of the answers.
Difficult, 10 Qns, googoodoll1020, Sep 19 18
Sep 19 18
3133 plays
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History of Medicine Trivia Questions

1. Which simple, but life saving, technique was ridiculed when introduced by Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis in 1847?

From Quiz
Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

Answer: Hand washing

Ignaz Semmelweis had observed that the death rates of women on maternity wards staffed by male doctors was higher than that on the wards staffed by female midwives. He trialled several theories to explain this difference. It was only when a colleague died after completing an autopsy of a patient who died of 'childbirth fever' that he realised that the link was due to 'cadaveral contamination'. He ordered his staff to clean their medical equipment as well as their hands with both soap and a chlorine solution. As a result, the rates of childbirth fever dropped considerably. However, his theory and technique were not widely accepted for many years.

2. With which troublesome illness, associated with the tropics, was the word "ague" once commonly associated?

From Quiz What Did the Doc Say?

Answer: Malaria

"Ague" was a word that once meant fever in general, or malarial fever in particular. The symptoms of malaria include both shivering and chills, vomiting and headaches. If this cannot be controlled, it can progress to seizures, or a coma, and even death. This illness is caused by a bite from a disease carrying female mosquito.

3. The surgical removal of a life-threatening growth was once known as what?

From Quiz Ancient Medical Terms

Answer: Ablation

Ablation was a word that first began to be used in medical circles in the European world from the early 1420s. It described the removal of abnormal growths or other parts of the human body that posed a real danger to the life and health of individuals - the ablation of tonsils, for example, or a malignant tumour.

4. The word "enema" comes down to us from which ancient language?

From Quiz History of Enemas

Answer: Greek

The English translation of the Ancient Greek word for enema means "I wash" or "I inject". Also known as a clyster, an enema is basically a bowel washout. It is used for other purposes, however, some of which will be discussed in this quiz. Its most frequent purpose is to relieve constipation, or empty the bowels prior to surgery. There have been several different means of delivery for this procedure over time. By the 17th century, for example, enemas were being administered via a syringe and plunger.

5. Associated with the Bedlam hospital, what was an Abram or an Abraham man?

From Quiz Obscure Medical and Health Terms

Answer: A man pretending to be insane

This old term was named after a ward in the old Bethlem Hospital in London, the the first hospital of its kind set up to deal with mental illnesses. Amazingly, this was built way back in 1247. Initially though, it was a centre to raise funds for the crusaders, and to house the poor and sick. It began to be used more and more as a centre for the mentally ill from the late 1300s and was fully so from the early 1400s. Because of the state of chaos within its wards, the total lack of knowledge of mental illness - and its treatment - it soon acquired the nickname of Bedlam. Rather incredibly, this hospital, though not in the same location, was still a working centre for the mentally ill in 2015. The Abraham ward was one of the wards in the old Bedlam era. Beggars who roamed the streets of London pretending to be insane found they were given more assistance (while finding it easier to steal) by saying they were out on leave from that ward. They became known as Abram-men or Abraham-men.

6. Which ancient Greek is considered by many to be the father of western medicine?

From Quiz A Medical Check-Up

Answer: Hippocrates of Cos

There is little doubt that Hippocrates was a real person and a real physician who lived in the 5th and 4th Centuries BC. He is mentioned by Plato, by Aristotle, and by his 2nd Century AD biographer Soranus of Ephesus. Other details about his life are disputed, as are the genuineness of many writings ascribed to him which were more likely written later by those who followed his school of thought. His teachings were advanced for their time and became part of the foundation of Western medicine.

7. The earliest example of artificial teeth discovered by science dates right back to around 2500 BC. In which country in the south of North America were these found?

From Quiz I'm Missing

Answer: Mexico

Mexico is an independent country on the North American continent, located immediately south of the United States. The set of artificial teeth dating back to 2,500 BC which were located here were made from animal teeth. It is believed they came from a wolf and are in amazingly good condition.

8. The word "hysteria" comes from the Greek word "hystera". How does this word translate into English?

From Quiz A History of Hysteria

Answer: womb

The Greek word "hystera" simply means "womb". It was then Latinized into the word "uterus", which is the anatomical name in English. The Greeks and the Romans were already linking specific behaviours with women, and in particular with their reproductive organs and cycles. For example, Hippocrates defined hysteria as "the revolt of the womb against neglect". Galen, a Roman physician of the 2nd century CE, noticed that hysteria was most frequent among virgins, priestesses and widows!

9. In 1952, Jonas Salk first tested his vaccine for infantile paralysis, at that time a condition which affected tens of thousands every year. What was infantile paralysis also known as?

From Quiz Great Leaps in Medical Practice

Answer: Polio

Prior to Salk's vaccine, poliomyelitis resulted in thousands of infant deaths every year, and permanently crippled tens of thousands more. Salk refused to patent his discovery, saying "Would you patent sunlight? Would you patent air?" Salk continued virology research throughout his life, working on the cure for AIDS upon his death in 1995. As a side note, how many people today do you think would patent sunlight, if they could get away with it?

10. Although most people encounter the name of Ivan Pavlov in the context of the study of psychology, in what field did he consider himself to be conducting research?

From Quiz Pavlov's Dogs

Answer: Physiology

In 1904, Ivan Pavlov was awarded a Nobel prize for Physiology and Medicine because of the research he had conducted, starting in 1890. In a 1927 series of lectures, Pavlov specifically called into question the concept that psychology could be called a science with the same standing as the natural sciences. He somewhat disingenuously stated a hope that the physiological insights he and others had made might one day provide a factual basis for the development of a science of psychology. He had been investigating several aspects of dog physiology, including the digestive process. It was in the process of investigating the relationship between the nervous system and the dog's autonomic bodily functions in the digestive process that he began his most famous series of experiments. At the time of his experiments, he was in charge of the Department of Physiology at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg.

11. William Harvey's experimental work was revolutionary. He is mostly known for work on:

From Quiz Medical History

Answer: the circulation of the blood

Before Harvey, it was not even believed that the heart pumped blood. The working model before Harvey was Galen's who thought that nutrition was brought from the liver's blood to the body and air from blood in the heart. This "air-filled' blood was thought to be used up and therefore did not return to the heart.

12. The world's oldest medical text is about ______ years old.

From Quiz Medicine in History

Answer: 4,000

The Nei Ching, or 'The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine', is in the form of dialogues between Chinese emperor Huang Ti and his chief physician.

13. In what year was the stethoscope invented?

From Quiz History of Medicine

Answer: 1816

By the Frenchman Rene T.H. Laennec.

14. Who invented the electrocardiogram?

From Quiz Inventors of Medical Devices

Answer: Willem Einthoven

Einthoven was a Dutch physiologist and in 1903 he developed a string galvanometer to graphically record the changes in electrical potential during contractions of the heart. He coined the term electrokardiogram (EKG), now changed to electrocardiogram (ECG). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1924. (Emeagwali invented a very fast computer software {program;} Engelhart invented the computer {mouse;} and Ericcson invented propelling steam vessels).

15. While working in WWI field hospitals, Domagk saw successful surgeries lead to death when patients developed which infection, caused by aerobic bacteria, which caused the skin to swell and affected areas to make a crackling sound when pressed?

From Quiz Taming the Demon Under the Microscope

Answer: gas gangrene

Gas gangrene was often fatal, even after doctors amputated affected limbs. It's usually cased by strains of Clostridium but can be caused by other microorganisms, including anaerobic strains of streptococci. Crowded conditions in field hospitals also led to cholera outbreaks. Between 100,000 and 200,000 German soldiers died from infection during WWI.

16. Various treatments, some alarming, were part and parcel of the medieval doctor's manual for dealing with epilepsy. What was the common name given to this condition?

From Quiz Medieval Medical Treatments

Answer: The falling sickness

Epilepsy, which can cause people to have seizures, depending on how the condition impacts them, is caused by unusual electrical activity in the brain. It has various causes, and today different treatments, some experimental, are used in attempts to control it. In ancient times, epilepsy was known as the "falling sickness" because the visible seizures that sometimes accompanied the illness resulted in its sufferers collapsing to the ground during the convulsive stage. Treatments used by medieval doctors were also varied, the more pleasant of which was a drink called St Paul's Potion - assorted herbs and spices mixed with honey and wine. Magic charms and amulets were also recommended as a treatment. When all these proved ineffective, there was always bloodletting of course, or, FAR worse - declaring that epilepsy meant the patient was under the control of a demon. The treatment for this meant drilling a hole in the patient's head to allow the demon to flee. That is of course unless the patient beat that demonic fiend out the door first.

17. Edward Jenner, after conducting a series of experiments, developed a vaccine which was effective against which horrific disease (the only one successfully eradicated according to the World Health Organisation)?

From Quiz Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

Answer: Smallpox

Smallpox was a highly contagious disease, killing a significant number of people. Those who survived were often badly scarred and prone to other complications such as blindness. The last recorded case was in 1977, with an estimated 30 million people dying in the 20th century prior to this. Jenner developed a much more effective vaccine than had previously been used (variolation which used smallpox particles) by using the more benign cowpox. He helped to pave the way for the eradication of this disease.

18. Defined as the inability to produce sound, which condition was once called "aphonia"?

From Quiz What Did the Doc Say?

Answer: Laryngitis

Laryngitis is caused by an interference in in the laryngeal nerve that controls the throat muscles. The word "aphonia" is defined as having no sound, so, put simply, the condition of laryngitis means that someone has lost his or her voice, hopefully temporarily. This can be caused by injury, illness, or even, in some cases, fear.

19. Ablepsy was a medical term that described which condition?

From Quiz Ancient Medical Terms

Answer: Blindness

Ablepsy was a term in use by 1616 in the medical world of long ago. This described not only visual impairment or total blindness, as we would recognise these conditions today, and all of which have various causes, but it also described a type of hysterical blindness where the sufferers actually convinced themselves that they had lost all their ability to see.

20. The first time enemas are mentioned in medical literature will astonish you. Which very ancient culture, quite advanced in medical procedures and papyrus, recorded this?

From Quiz History of Enemas

Answer: Egyptian

Ancient Egyptian medical procedures are some of the oldest documented in the world because they were very advanced for the times. Enemas appear in their records as far back as 1550 BCE. A specialist dealing with bowels and troubles in that area of the body was an Iri and was referred to as a Shepherd of the Anus. This specialist not only performed bowel washouts, but also administered various medications to patients via enemas. There was also a Keeper of the Royal Rectum who worked specifically with the Pharaoh. According to Egyptian mythology, the god Thoth invented the enema.

21. This is simply ghastly. For what was ergot once used on women?

From Quiz Obscure Medical and Health Terms 2

Answer: To bring on a birth

Ergot is a disease of rye that kills off the grains by covering them with a black and horrible looking fungus. By eating breads tainted with ergot, this could cause a variety of inexplicable and painful symptoms in people - and in animals if they were given food scraps containing it. These symptoms included hysteria, hallucinations, convulsions and uncontrolled vomiting. Ergot is believed to be the cause of the horrifying symptoms associated with those who were convicted of sorcery during the Salem Witch Trials in the early days of the United States. One of its other effects was to cause strong uterine contractions in pregnant females, and for very many years, this product was used to expel the placenta, bring on childbirth - or cause abortions.

22. Associated with the mouth, what is the meaning of the old word baberlupped?

From Quiz Obscure Medical and Health Terms

Answer: Thick lips

It's proving difficult to find the origins of this term, although it has been in use since at least the 11th century in English speaking countries. Listed in medical terminology, its only meaning is given as thick-lipped or possessing thick lips. It is frequently seen in conjunction with the word "bytellbrowede" as well. That means beetle browed, so perhaps it was someone with an appearance of overhanging brows and wide open slack lipped mouth, such as found in illustrations of criminal types from centuries ago, or perceptions of people with delayed intellect from the same era.

23. During the Victorian period blood-letting was a recognised medical treatment for a wide range of illnesses and injuries. Which creatures, used in the blood-letting process, would have been a common sight on the shelves of a Victorian pharmacy?

From Quiz A Tour of a Victorian Pharmacy

Answer: Leeches

The leech is a type of segmented worm, but only specific species are used for medicinal purposes, most commonly the aptly named Hirudo medicinalis. Bloodletting using leeches was a popular medical technique for over 2,000 years, with records showing it was used by both the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Bloodletting was prescribed when doctors or physicians believed that the patient was suffering from an 'imbalance of the humours'. As one of the four humours was blood it was believed that bloodletting would improve their condition. Needless to say, in most cases this treatment would have had little beneficial effect and may well have been harmful to the patient. Bloodletting gradually fell out of use in the later Victorian period as evidence began to mount up against it. Surprisingly, leeches are still used in modern medicine - although for the purpose of stimulating blood flow and the therapeutic effect of the hirudin (anti-coagulant) in leech saliva!

24. By 700 BC, the Etruscans were creating false teeth by joining a combination of human and animal teeth together with which expensive metal?

From Quiz I'm Missing

Answer: Gold

The Etruscans were a civilisation in the area of what we know today as Italy. It endured until it was swallowed up by the Roman Empire between the 2nd and 4th centuries BC. By 700 BC, these talented people had developed the skills to manufacture fixed bridges for missing teeth, by linking human teeth with animal teeth with gold wire.

25. What was the chief medical contribution of Ignaz Semmelweis to the practice of medicine?

From Quiz Great Leaps in Medical Practice

Answer: Hand washing

Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865) made big waves in the medical community back in the 19th century when he suggested that doctors might actually be GIVING patients infections with their dirty hands. There was a large portion of the medical profession which were insulted by the theory, and accused Semmelweis of slander and mental illness. His theory would go on to save untold millions of lives, but Semmelweis himself would die in an asylum, of an infection which was improperly treated.

26. Edward Jenner observed that people who had suffered from which disease seemed to have immunity from smallpox?

From Quiz Medical History

Answer: cowpox

Many of the diseases that have caused the greatest harm to humans were created by living close to animals.

27. In 1844, dentist Horace Wells of Connecticut was the first to successfully use an anaesthetic to extract teeth. What was the anaesthetic?

From Quiz Medicine in History

Answer: nitrous oxide

Also known as laughing gas.

28. In what year did death certificates come into general use in the United States?

From Quiz History of Medicine

Answer: 1915

29. Who developed the first blood bank and a system for storing blood plasma?

From Quiz Inventors of Medical Devices

Answer: Charles Drew

A blood bank isn't actually a {device;} but, it has become a modern marvel of technology and a laboratory designed with the finest scientific equipment. On-going improvements have made blood and blood by-products more available and transfusions much safer. Advanced technologies in the emergency room and in the operating rooms require larger, low-risk supplies of blood. Dr. Drew was born in Washington, D.C. in 1904. In addition to developing the first blood bank and a method for storing plasma, he established the American Red Cross blood bank. (Deforest invented space {telegraphy;} Dennard developed random access memory {(RAM);} and Dart created the first grain elevator).

30. Which scientist developed Salvarsan, the first "magic bullet" which cured syphilis?

From Quiz Taming the Demon Under the Microscope

Answer: Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) worked under Robert Koch (1843-1910) at the Berlin Institute of Infectious Disease (now the Robert Koch Institute) where he researched serums and autoimmunity. In 1906 he became the director of a private research foundation, the Georg Speyer House. There, he discovered his "magic bullet." Arsphenamine (Salvarsan), an organic compound containing arsenic, killed the microorganisms which cause syphilis and African trypanosomiasis. Salvarsan was toxic, causing liver damage, but was the first effective chemical cure for a disease. For his work in immunology, Ehrlich shared the 1908 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Ilya Ilych Mechnikov (1845-1916). Jules Bordet (1870-1961) isolated the Bortadella pertussis bacterium that causes whooping cough and won the 1919 Nobel Prize.

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