Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich (1815-77)
The German doctor Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich was an important advocate of scientific medicine in the 1800s. In 1842 he published an influential appeal to use scientific methods in medicine. In his clinical practice Wunderlich introduced new methods of documenting diagnostic findings, especially fever curves.
Wunderlich had rejected his mother's wish for him to enter the priesthood. Instead he studied the latest developments in medical science in Paris and Vienna, the two centres of medical learning in Europe in the 1800s. At the age of 31, Wunderlich became full Professor, and Director, of the medical clinic in Tübingen. He became Professor of Medicine at the University of Leipzig and Director of the university hospital in 1850. In addition to his work on the use of measurement in clinical practice and research, Wunderlich also advocated the creation of separate university clinics for the mentally ill.
Techniques and Technologies:
Who were the `mentally ill’? We use this phrase to reflect the historical descriptions of individuals with a variety of behaviours, mental health problems and pathologies. Historically, the concept of ‘ madness’ or ‘insanity’ was used to describe people who may have had what we would now consider psychiatric disorders. It often also included those showing symptoms of syphilis, epilepsy, depression, or in some cases merely behaviour considered to be eccentric or outside commonly accepted norms.