Found this fascinating graphic that helps visualize the top 10 causes of death in 1900 and again in 2010. Put side by side it is just amazing to think how many once fatal illnesses medical science has eradicated in the course of the last 100 years. The same post at Sploid.com (a favorite geeky site of mine) also shows top risk factors and other relevant information in side by side comparisons between 1900 and 2010. Again we can see the role of the medical field in helping to change public policy and raise awareness of behaviors that are dangerous to our collective health.
Unfortunately, looking at these visualizations, we also learn that people still suffer and die at about the same rate even though the causes of their ailments may have changed. This is a less unfortunate piece of information though if you’re someone pursuing (or considering) a career in the medical field. Doctors, nurses and nursing assistants remain in very high demand because illness never sleeps. It may be beat back on one front, but always emerges elsewhere to cause suffering and pain. This is why nursing assistant training is a wise choice career-wise.
I wonder what this chart will look like in the year 2100? What incurable diseases currently ravaging humanity will be rendered harmless. How we regard Small Pox will surely be how humanity in 2100 regards Cancer or heart disease. One thing is for certain however. Regardless of how many ailments we cure with science, there will always be others requiring the care and expertise of doctors, nurses and nursing assistants.