History of Medicine in America Essay

This essay has a total of 1134 words and 6 pages.

History of Medicine in America








James Cassedy’s Medicine in America, A Short History takes a comprehensive look at medical
progress in America from its colonial days to the present time. The book takes on five
different themes in discussing medicine. First, it discusses the medical establishment,
and how it develops over time. Second, it looks at the alternative to established
medicine. Alternatives consist of any kind of medical practice outside the orthodox
practice of the time. Third, Cassedy explores the science of medicine, taking time to
recognize individuals who make significant discoveries in the field of medicine. The role
of government in science is the fourth theme studied by Cassedy. The government makes
considerable efforts into the regulation of medical practice in America. The final theme
is the role of the environment in the health of Americans. In covering these themes,
Cassedy breaks American history into four different time periods. The book will best be
reviewed by looking at each of these time periods, and how they cover the aforementioned
themes.

Logically, the book begins by discussing the period of time that America is under the
control of Britain. The first inhabitants of the continent took a beating from diseases
carried by Europeans. Native Americans did not have the immunities instilled in
Europeans. Disease is accredited to wiping out nearly 90 percent of Native Americans. The
colonies, however, also had to deal with diseases. Very few physicians lived in the
colonies due to the fact that Britain was still the mother country. With the medical
establishment being as small as it was, the women of the household often took care of the
day to day healing. Midwives handled childbirths, and basically anyone with any knowledge
of medical literature was considered capable of healing. Some of the common treatments
included steam baths, religious rights, and herbal remedies. Surgical methods were
basically limited to that of setting bones and pulling teeth. Realizing that sanitation
was a problem, larger towns eventually began to pass regulations on the removal of garbage
and dead animals. Health related science was circulated by means of periodicals. Along
with being a contributor to medicine as a scientist, Benjamin Franklin often published
medical information in his newspapers. A strong supporter of inoculation, the Reverend
Cotton Mather frequently wrote about medical matters in terms of religion. The colonial
years saw the beginning of a medical establishment. As small groups of British physicians
began moving to the colonies, medical schools began to arise and give a foundation to
practices in America.

The separation of the colonies from Great Britain caused a break in medical advancement in
America. Many physicians saw fit to pack up and return home. Main stream medicine at the
time could be considered barbaric by today’s standards. Treatments such as excessive
blood letting, which was thought to balance the body’s four humors, often did more harm
than good. Sometimes they even led to death. The government began efforts at this time
to pass laws requiring physicians be licensed. Thirteen states passed such laws, but
eleven eventually repealed the laws. The government reluctantly involved itself in
matters such as quarantines and public vaccinations. The spread of the population
westward resulted in the lack of available physicians. This led to the rise of many
people turning to unorthodox methods of medicine. Quacks, or people who claimed medical
knowledge who really had none, often hurt people rather than cure them. “Irregular”
practitioners began to use new methods in surgery, hygiene beliefs, and new medical
systems that were generally frowned upon because the public was not used to it. It took
awhile for the United States to become advanced and wealthy enough to produce any serious
output in scientific discovery. In 1807, Thomas Jefferson encouraged the medical
community to look into research more. Members of the medical community began to research
more into specific fields of medicine. For example, anatomy became much more detailed
from 1776 to 1865. The Civil War produced enormous amounts of experience in dealing with
wounds afflicted in battle. While disease spread rapidly through overcrowded urban
communities, farmers faced vulnerable months during early settlement. Medical
institutions were based mainly around the larger cities, so the rural population continued
to rely on traveling physicians and home remedies.

The medical establishment in America from 1864 to 1940 made a switch to specialized
Continues for 3 more pages >>




  • Creation Science as a Pseudoscience
    Creation Science as a Pseudoscience In every civilization throughout history, man has searched for the explanation to his existence. In ancient society’s people created origin myths. Every civilization had a unique myth. Some myths involved gods and others involved nature. Sometime around one thousand B.C. the longest standing creation myth was popularized. This creation myth is still in practice today, almost three thousand years later. The myth I am referring to is the Genesis recollection in
  • Theme of The DemonHaunted World
    Theme of The DemonHaunted World Theme of The Demon-Haunted World Books that promote pseudoscience are often popular and profitable. Much less marketable are those books which promote skepticism (Nickell 106). The underlying theme in the first part of Carl Sagan\'s book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is that there can be overwhelming harmful effects if science is not used as a way to observe that which is not completely understood. This means that people should study eve
  • Phrenology
    Phrenology Phrenology Phrenology is basically the study of personality through the study of the shape of the skull. The basis of this theory is that the brain conforms to the shape of the head and its contours. This pseudoscience says that because we have isolated where different parts of personality come from we can tell how dominant this trait would be in a person’s life by the size of the piece of the brain. We have since proven that this theory is not true. Franz Joseph Gall is considered to
  • The Problem with Evolutionists Problems
    The Problem with Evolutionists Problems The Problem with Evolutionists’ Problems “The Creationist battle cry can be stated thus: Public ignorance is Creationist bliss.” This is just one of the many attacks made against Creationist in Richard Young’s article, “Why Creation ‘Science’ Must Be Kept Out of the Classroom.” Throughout the article he uses many hasty generalizations about creationist theories. The first hasty generalizations Young makes are untrue statements about the Bible. He then uses
  • Creation science
    Creation science Creation Science Creationism is a religious metaphysical theory about the origin of the universe. It is not a scientific theory. Technically, creationism is not necessarily connected to any particular religion. It simply requires a belief in a Creator. Millions of Christians and non-Christians believe there is a Creator of the universe and that scientific theories such as the the theory of evolution do not conflict with belief in a Creator. However, fundamentalist Christians suc
  • Creation science
    Creation science Creation Science Creationism is a religious metaphysical theory about the origin of the universe. It is not a scientific theory. Technically, creationism is not necessarily connected to any particular religion. It simply requires a belief in a Creator. Millions of Christians and non-Christians believe there is a Creator of the universe and that scientific theories such as the the theory of evolution do not conflict with belief in a Creator. However, fundamentalist Christians suc
  • PseudoScience Creationism
    PseudoScience Creationism Pseudo-Science: Creationism Questions on the origin of life and of the universe must have challenged human curiosity and imagination as soon as early man had time for activities other than survival. In 1859, Charles Darwin published the Origin of Species, and since then, people have debated between the creationism and evolutionism theories. For the first time there was a theory that said the universe was not created by a supreme being and so began the debate. Creationi
  • Creation Science
    Creation Science Creation Science Creationism is a religious metaphysical theory about the origin of the universe. It is not a scientific theory. Technically, creationism is not necessarily connected to any particular religion. It simply requires a belief in a Creator. Millions of Christians and non-Christians believe there is a Creator of the universe and that scientific theories such as the the theory of evolution do not conflict with belief in a Creator. However, fundamentalist Christians su
  • Use of nazi experimental data
    use of nazi experimental data Marc Hansen Philosophy 447 Should Unethically Obtained Nazi Data be used for Current Research? During World War II, Nazi doctors committed atrocious crimes in the name of research against their Jewish prisoners. This research done in such a way that never can or should be done again, plays an important role in science. We must allow researchers to use Nazi data to add light to their research, however only if it is the only source for the data they need to improve t
  • JIMMY HOFFA
    JIMMY HOFFA The day Jimmy Hoffa didn\'t come home By Pat Zacharias / The Detroit News On July 30, 1975, James Riddle Hoffa left his Lake Orion home for a meeting. Paroled from federal prison three years earlier, the former Teamster president had recently announced plans to try to wrestle back control of the union he had built with his bare knuckles from his protege -- now adversary -- Frank Fitzsimmons. Anthony Giacalone, a reputed captain of organized crime in Detroit, was supposed to meet Hoff
  • Robert Burns
    Robert Burns People have made entire careers off the belief in and practices of astrology. The idea of the stars determining our fate has withheld people\'s interest for centuries. Robert Burns, an Aquarius, was very anti-superstition. He had almost no belief in astrological predictions or zodiac signs. There is some humor in this though, because through Burns\' poems and songs this pseudoscience shows just how accurate it can be. The most parallel example of Burns\' personality and his Aquarius
  • Ancient Astronomy
    Ancient Astronomy Astronomy has been a source for myriad ideas influencing every subject. The stars have existed since the dawn of man. People have looked to the universe to determine physical location, gain spiritual direction and to track time. Many early scientists used astronomy to make careers for themselves and print their names in all the history books of time. Since the beginning of time, the stars and all of the heavens have been used not only as a tool to aid in basic living but also t
  • Graphology
    graphology North Texas Skeptics Graphology Fact Sheet Introduction The belief that handwriting is a sign of the inner personality is very old. The first serious attempt to analyze handwriting seems to have been that of Camillo Baldi, an Italian scholar, who published a book on the subject in 1622. As literacy spread, handwriting analysis became popular, being practiced as an art form by such literary figures as Goethe, Poe, the Brownings and Dickens. Jean Hippolyte Michon coined the term graphol
  • The Genetics Of Violence
    The Genetics Of Violence The Genetics of Violence Introduction We, in the 1990\'s, are slowly and inevitably being faced with the sociological and biological implications of impending genetic power. This power is analytical, in such cases as the Human Genome Project, which will hopefully succeed in mapping out the genetic code for the entire human genetic composition. Moreover, this power is preventative and participatory in that it can be, and is being, used to control the behavior of humans an
  • Holocaust Denial
    Holocaust Denial Holocaust Denial "One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect men and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth." -W.E.B Du Bois, Black Reconstruction, 1935 As early as age thirteen, we start learning about the Holocaust in classrooms and in textbooks. We learn that in
  • Creationism and Public Schools
    Creationism and Public Schools Creationism and Public Schools The issue of whether creationism should be taught in public schools, rather than evolution, is a new one. It has only been in the past fifty years that it has even been in debate. Public school science classes, when discussing the origins of life on Earth, coincided with Sunday school classes. Students learned that the Earth, universe and everything else was created in seven days, by God, as stated in the Old Testament. It was not unt
  • Creation Science
    Creation Science Creationism is a religious metaphysical theory about the origin of the universe. It is not a scientific theory. Technically, creationism is not necessarily connected to any particular religion. It simply requires a belief in a Creator. Millions of Christians and non-Christians believe there is a Creator of the universe and that scientific theories such as the the theory of evolution do not conflict with belief in a Creator. However, fundamentalist Christians such as Ronald Reaga
  • Scientology
    Scientology The Truth About Scientology Scientology was created around 1950 by a science fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology was presented as a religious philosophy, but is actually a warped sense of both religion and science, fused together to create a belief system that is quite damaging to people\'s psychological state. Scientologists believe that man is ultimately capable of determining the outcome of all aspects of his life: mental, emotional, as well as physical. It is a twentieth
  • Mathematical Impacts
    Mathematical Impacts Mathematical Impacts The art of mathematics is an intrinsic part of the many physical sciences which humanity strives to learn; it began as a way to explain the celestial guides, which became the science of astronomy and astrophysics. This essay will explain the use of math in astronomy, chemistry, physics, and their relation. The study of astronomy is the oldest of the physical sciences it began as an inspiration. For the purpose of this essay, the study will begin with the
  • Phrenology
    Phrenology Phrenology is basically the study of personality through the study of the shape of the skull. The basis of this theory is that the brain conforms to the shape of the head and its contours. This pseudoscience says that because we have isolated where different parts of personality come from we can tell how dominant this trait would be in a person\'s life by the size of the piece of the brain. We have since proven that this theory is not true. Franz Joseph Gall is considered to be the fo