When did surgeons start to scrub? Dr. Markel looks at history in PBS column

Today’s surgical teams take extraordinary care to prevent infections in their patients.

But where did this practice of scrubbing, donning fresh gear, and treating surgical sites with antiseptics come from?

The history might surprise – and disgust – you.

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U-M Center for the History of Medicine, explores this topic in a new column for PBS. It’s part of his ongoing series of online articles looking at moments in medical history.

This past weekend was the 147th anniversary of the publication of a series of medical articles that led to a revolution in surgical infection prevention.

Read the column online here — and remember it the next time you scrub up at work.