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Lydia Kang, M.D.

Coauthor of Quackery and Patient Zero

Dr. Lydia Kang is a prolific author and a practicing physician. She has written adult fiction, young adult fiction, and non-fiction, and poetry. Master storyteller meets scientist, her books combine the fascinating and dark histories of disease and cures in a way that’s both accessible and captivating.

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, coauthored with Nate Pederson and named a Best Science Book of 2017 by NPR’s “Science Friday,” is a look at the dangerously wacky but true ways that humans have attempted to cure their ills through the ages. From leeches and mercury to strychnine (used in rat poison) and lobotomies, it explores the medical “treatments” that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams in the name of health.

Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World’s Worst Diseases is a page-turner on disease outbreaks throughout history. Medical stories of smallpox, Bubonic plague, polio, and HIV that combine “Patient Zero” narratives, or the human stories behind outbreaks, with historical examinations of missteps, milestones, scientific theories, and more. A timely examination of epidemics—how they start, how they spread, the science that lets us understand them, and how we race to contain them.

Lydia Kang offers a wealth of information on all of these topics and can speak to both the medical community and laypeople.

Speaking Topics

  • Quackery: History Repeats Itself
  • Silver Linings: What Pandemics Have Taught Us
  • The History of Vaccines
  • Outbreak: Lessons from Past Epidemics
  • The History of Germ Theory
  • The Worst Ways to Cure Everything
  • Science and Society: Bridging the Gap

Meet Lydia Kang, M.D.

Travels from

Omaha, NE


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