Much is made of the great speed of medical progress, of impossibility or keeping up, etc, etc.
Sometimes yes, that is true -- though much that is "new" does not last. Often though, progress is glacial.
One of my medical hobbies is using a Pubmed feed to track articles written about aphthous stomatitis (aka canker sores). This is a generally benign (albeit painful) condition that remains almost as mysterious today as it was when I entered McGill in 1982.
For example, today's feed tossed up an article that could have been written thirty years ago: Topical minocycline for managing symptoms of recur...[Spec Care Dentist. 2008 Jan-Feb].
In 1982 we were pretty sure canker sores would not be a great mystery in 2008. Of course in 1995 we were certain everyone would have fiber to the desktop by 2001 ...