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Medical Care and Doctors in the 1800's

Generates a better understanding of the Puritan Society and Lifestyle
by

Morgan Imamura

on 22 January 2013

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Transcript of Medical Care and Doctors in the 1800's

By Morgan Imamura
and Dana Kallenbach Medical Care and Doctors
in the 1800's The medical care and doctors that help the
human race today have very highly advanced
knowledge and technology to pursue and
succeed in helping people who have health
related problems. It takes quite a lot of training
and schooling to become a licensed nurse
or doctor in the world today. This has
dramatically changed since the 1800's.
This is how it was back then... Doctors As of Today Unlike today, during the 1800's, many doctors were
unlicensed and often learned their trade by
apprenticeships without any real training or
appropriate knowledge.

in 1828, their was an Act that prevented unskilled
doctors from being able to practice surgery or
other health-related practices. This act left many communities without a doctor, making it hard for people to receive fast medical care.

In 1829, an amendment was added to the Act of 1828 that stated any doctor that had been practicing for seven years, prior to the Act, could be licensed. continued... Doctors had very primitive working conditions
which resulted in low chance of survival for
patients.

Many doctors traveled long distances to gain an education and new knowledge of medical care, and then return to enlighten the medical community.

Overall, Doctors did not have the knowledge to perform things doctors can today. continued.. - Bathing was considered unhealthy
- Dental care was frowned upon
- This led to many diseases:
Gum disease, mercury poisoning,
- Sexual things were taboo, leading to ignorance of birth control and sexually transmitted diseases

- Infant mortality was high (common to be struck by the fever)
- Personal hygiene and health started to improve in the mid 1900's Medical Care and Health continued... -All forms of medicine were practiced together.
Doctors didn't specialize in certain fields.
- Female physicians were rare Medicine - 13,000 drugs in pharmacy today, but during this
time the pharmacy consisted of mainly herbal
medicines
- They commonly used mercury
- Midwives were used as medicine because they did a lot more than just deliver babies (similar to nurses) black slaves were hired because they were immune to the diseases
- Late 1800's, doctors started to deliver babies with the help of forceps, which started to put the midwives out of business.
- Interesting fact: leeches were used for local bloodletting and they were believed to cure diseases - Surgery killed as many as it cured, mostly
due to sepsis, a disease.
- Most surgeries in the US were treating wounds
(amputations were the leading surgical
procedure performed)
- Anesthesia was not used until the mid-century, so surgery before that endured a great amount of pain.
- No one knows how woman dealt with menstruation because it was kept private

- Due to modesty, doctors were not allowed to look at naked female patients. It was hard to have child birth, that's why they had midwives.
- Abortions were socially accepted (midwives would hang flags outside of the house to signify an abortion) Ties to the Scarlet Letter - Robert Chillingworth was not a real doctor. He uses his knowledge from the Native Americans to disguise himself a s a doctor. He uses many herbal remedies to help the minister get better
- It is no accident that Chillingworth is called a “leech,” for he has attached himself to the minister’s side like an destructive worm. He wants to use his scientific knowledge to get “deep into his patient’s bosom, delving among his principles, prying into his recollections, and probing everything with a cautious touch, like a treasure-seeker in a dark cavern.” He symbolizes the bloodletting of the leeches in the 1880s, where he is basically seeking to find the root of his patients condition
- In the 1800's doctors were called leeches during that time
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