History KS3 / GCSE: 18th Century Medicine

An engaging animated summary of medical progress in the 18th century; a time that saw doctors challenging the norm, the first ever vaccine and encouraged scientific training for surgeons.

Narrated by actor and impressionist Duncan Wisbey, the pace is quick and tone irreverent.

Using authentic archival illustrations and drawings the key figures focused on are Edward Jenner and John Hunter who both made major breakthroughs in observation, experimentation and immunology.

Key themes that directly affected progress during this period are explored such as the population rise in urban areas, more hospitals and institutions built by philanthropists, the gin craze and effect this had on people’s well-being and as a result the government's growing interest in public health.

As a result, it immerses students in an effective and imaginative way.

This is from the series: Medicine through time

Teacher Notes

This could be used to ask pupils to give various examples of modern day vaccines, highlighting how important Jenner’s discovery was in 1796.

Pupils could investigate how the gin epidemic forced the government to take a more active role in public health.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching KS3 and KS4/GCSE History in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 History in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA Scotland.

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