The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon is a fully engrossing story, filled with engaging and beloved characters, rich historical detail, adventure, and romance. It is also a treasure trove of medical stories – trauma, infection, diseases of poor nutrition, maladies of all kinds.  Outlander chronicles the determination and desperation of a healer who has 20th century knowledge but cares for her patients in the 18th century with only the resources of the time (and those she can improvise).

What started for me as a way to pass the time while sidelined after knee surgery has become a hobby. I enjoy taking a closer look at Claire’s medical practice in the 18th century, both in the books and the television adaptation, and considering how advances in medicine have changed (or have not changed) the way the same ailments are treated today.  For those who share an interest in exploring the Medicine of Outlander, please enjoy!


Disclaimer:  This blog and its associated social media accounts are in no way affiliated with the Starz production of Outlander nor Diana Gabaldon.


8 thoughts on “About

  1. Carrie Arnold

    This is a very interesting and informative blog.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.
    I know that Diana thoroughly researches everything for her books but it is quite interesting to read more about the differences between modern-day medicine and that of the 18th century.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sassenachdoctor

      Thank you, Carrie! This is my first attempt at a blog like this but I’m really enjoying writing it so far. And what a great excuse to re-watch Season One! I love how well researched and how detailed Diana’s books are. She truly transports the audience to another place and time. So glad to be among fellow fans!


  2. L Tanner

    All extremely interesting but I am missing the bit where Claire has to show her abilities and decide if Master Raymond and/or the Comte de St. Germain are witches. Claire supposedly gives Master Raymond bitter cascara but what ingredient is Master Raymond adding before it is passed to the Comte???
    Any thoughts or ideas???


    1. sassenachdoctor

      Hello and apologies for the late reply! In Dragonfly in Amber, Claire mentions that Dragon’s Blood was the poison that killed Le Comte. However, a look at Dragon’s Blood reveals it isn’t very toxic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon's_blood). In episode 203, though, I think we get some foreshadowing as to what poison Master Raymond added. Claire picks up a bottle in his shop labeled “Aconitum Napellus” or Monkshood, and the two casually discuss that they are not aware of medicinal uses for it, but agree it is quite toxic. Indeed it is quite toxic:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum#Toxicology. So my best guess is that is what was used and that was a bit of foreshadowing for us. 🙂


  3. Hi there, Thank you so much for this blog! I’m a medical herbalist from the UK and I’ve been critiquing the use of the herbs. Most of them are quite precise and others stretch the truth but I haven’t noticed any gobsmacking lies so far :P. The timeline of Hildegard von Bingam being the most obvious stretch of the truth. But it’s been fascinating never the less! Can’t wait to read all your blog posts!


    1. sassenachdoctor

      Thanks for the note! It has been a lot of fun learning more about the herbs as this definitely was not something covered in much depth in my medical education. I agree they sometimes stretch the truth but I’m finding they often explain their reasons for it (cascara comes to mind)! Looking forward to some of the great medical stories to come in seasons 3&4!


  4. Hugh

    I’m wondering why 1960s Claire is called “Doctor,” when, in England, surgeons are traditionally not addressed as “Doctor.” Was this done for American audiences?


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