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James Cassedys 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
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