pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Latif Nasser: The man who gave us modern pain relief

A Doctor with a deep, embarrassing secret. A circus strong man-wrestler with a secret that might destroy his career. Together they literally altered the course of doctors treating patients at the most basic level. This short video is about how it happened – really worth watching… really!

For the longest time, doctors basically ignored the most basic and frustrating part of being sick — pain. In this lyrical, informative talk, Latif Nasser tells the extraordinary story of wrestler and doctor John J. Bonica, who persuaded the medical profession to take pain seriously — and transformed the lives of millions. He literally gave us modern pain relief.

The history of science is “brimming with tales stranger than fiction,” says Latif Nasser, who wrote his PhD dissertation on the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic of 1962. A writer and researcher, he’s now the research director at Radiolab, a job that allows him to dive into archives, talk to interesting people and tell stories as a way to think about science and society. He has reported on such disparate topics as culture-bound illnesses, snowflake photography, sinking islands and 16th-century automata. Now: the history of modern pain relief.

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