In the early to mid-20th century, surgery had become a common treatment for many illnesses, for example children routinely had their tonsils removed because it was believed they were a source of septic infection. Doctors saw surgery as the best possible treatment; the alternative would be patients taking pills for the rest of their lives.

The film profiles the work of Dr Barry Marshall and Dr Robin Warren who researched stomach ulcers, arguing they were caused by bacteria in the stomach and so should be treated with antibiotics. This challenged the long-held belief that bacteria could not grow in the stomach and that surgery was the best treatment for this illness.

This clip is from:
History, Medicine through Time
First broadcast:
27 June 2007

Draw a cartoon strip of four boxes to show the changes in attitudes to surgery between 1948 and 2013 as suggested by the clip. The class should include the discovery by Dr Marshall and Dr Warren that stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria.