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This Compares American Medical Care In The Colonial Period With Medical Care In The First Half Of The Nineteenth Century

992 words - 4 pages

These early immigrants survived the harsh times and difficult American climate as well as the wilderness on primitive basic instincts. The early settlements were often ravaged by starvation and disease.During the colonial era, doctors' education was informal. Most were literate, but some who were raised outside of New England were not. A man who wanted to practice medicine did not need any type of certification. Most did have a period of apprenticeship with an established physician, but even this was not a requirement. Up until the late 19th century, very few doctors had a college education.Medical facilities were unofficial. Most patients were treated in their homes. However, even the ...view middle of the document...

However, other "medical treatments" were available also. Probably snake oil is best remembered.Andrew Taylor Still started the practice of osteopathy. Osteopathy incorporated bodily manipulations, similar to those seen in modern chiropractics. In osteopathy, these manipulations affected the magnetic flow of energy in the body. Osteopathy discouraged use of medicines, but did not forbid them.Another reaction against heroic medicine was homeopathy. A university-trained German doctor named Samuel Hahnemann started it. Heinemann said that doctors were giving their patients too much medicine. He believed that tiny amounts of drugs should be diluted in water before being given to a patient and that practitioners should take very thorough medical histories of each patient.Quackery was a way to fool people into believing they were being cured while making money from them. Quackery had even been licensed in London, but it was completely ignored by the America government for hundreds of years.Hydropathy was another special case. The healing power of water, hydropathy indicated the value of the rest cure, importance of having like-minded people around, the usefulness of light exercise and the fact that women who wore loose-fitting clothing generally felt better and had fewer physical complaints than the ones who did.Another special case is the entire issue of faith-only healing. While empirical evidence in favor of faith-only healing is lacking, anecdotal evidence suggests that some people who pray do experience spontaneous decrease of certain diseases.The late 19th century saw major changes in medicine in the United States. Medicine went from being medieval to incorporating many elements of modern science. The advances in chemistry, and biology had major impacts on medicine. As medical practitioners began to understand that the body was comprised of basic chemicals and not mysterious humors, effective treatments for diseases and injuries...

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