Sunday, August 18, 2019

Medicine In America Essay -- essays research papers

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 thes e 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 medic... ...lear weapons and the affects of radiation. The AIDS epidemic is an example of a modern day disease that prompts massive government funded research and public awareness. The medical establishment now is maintained by such organizations as the American Medical Association (A.M.A). The emergence of effective medicine gave way to more success and trust in the American medical institution. Current advancement in medicine, however, tends to be tainted by the glory of discovery. While orthodox medicine continues to flourish, people still tend to seek unorthodox methods of healing, such as acupuncture. All things considered, medicine in America has made dramatic improvements since its colonial days. James Cassedy has made an excellent overview of the history of medicine in America. Granted that this book will not win any literary awards in the near future, it is still a well-written tool in beginning one’s research of medicine. He presents his topics in a manner that makes them in teresting, and causes readers to question the past of their medical culture. His choice of themes leaves little to be desired, and he thoroughly discusses each of them in relation to his specified time intervals.

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