If I remember correctly, Ms. Dobson is/was an editor or professor of medical history at Cambridge or somewhere similar. But this work reads more like a magazine at the doctor's office, a comforting survey of treatments, without the details or messy analysis. Although, as magazine articles, the human interest stories would seem pretty thin.
So I naturally learned a shard or two of history on subjects a century old or more, mostly regarding famous studies that demonstrated the cause of cholera or found a (mostly ineffective) vaccine for TB. Many such seminal studies were ignored for decades after their discovery, says the book (in one sentence, usually). It's strange and unfortunate that this writer makes no attempt to offer explanations for such regrettable and deadly missed opportunities.
The crushing weight of tradition may have begun with one famous medical text from Greece, translated into Arabic and so on, which, among other things, made balance of the four humours so emphatic for 1000 years or so. I find it interesting that the humours described are so emphatic and so balanced at the same time, as so often seems baffling and compelling in Greek conversation, at least in English. You'll still find people who think positive thinking cures cancer. Did we get that from the Greeks or from the Asians who emphasized emotional balance far earlier in history?
Per its academic or British origins, the book contains a few recommendations towards the back of the book regarding regulation of future trials and studies. They are short, bullet-pointed vagaries, as described and administered by official, probably remote institutions. Whether this approach was missing in recent history or was itself the cause of missed opportunities, as medical breakthroughs became temporarily lost, is not discussed or made clear in the book.