It was not a pleasant time to be a patient, but if you valued your life, there was no choice. To relieve the pain, you submitted to more pain, and with any luck, you might get better. Surgeons in the early part of the Middle Ages were often monks because they had access to the best medical literature – often written by Arab scholars. But in 1215, the Pope said monks had to stop practicing surgery, so they instructed peasants to perform various forms of surgery. Farmers, who had little experience other than castrating animals, came into demand to perform anything from removing painful tooth abscesses to performing eye cataract surgery.
Some of the medieval medical graphics may be NSFW. Link -via Gorilla Mask