Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, you’re sweating, coughing, and starting to throw up. In today’s world, doctors are available for situations like these. Before the 1800’s, doctors were not as common, and their techniques were questionable. It wasn’t until the 1800’s, that doctors and scientists began discovering and creating medicines and vaccines to help cure sickness and disease. During the 1800’s, there were very many medical advancements. Because there were a lot of medical advancements, there were conflictions such as medical/scientific concerns, ethical concerns, legal changes, and how the economy was affected.
At a time of improvements in society, the 20th century was a central time for scientific discoveries and enhancements. Specifically, medicine experiences a significant advancement during the 1900s. Starting out with the bare minimum, medical researchers invented life-changing technologies, which are continually used in the modern world. Without these developments, high death rates would remain prominent in society today and living conditions would still be in poor shape. Patient care, medical personnel treatment, and medical techniques greatly improved during the 1900s. Along with this, various drugs, vaccines, and procedures came into the medical field and saved many patients’ lives.
The Greeks went even further, introducing the concepts of medical diagnosis, prognosis, and advanced medical ethics. The Hippocratic Oath, still taken by doctors up to today, was written in Greece in the 5th century BCE. The germ theory of disease in the 19th century led to cures for many infectious diseases. Public health measures were developed especially in the 19th century as the rapid growth of cities required systematic sanitary measures. Advanced research centers opened in the early 20th century, mid-20th century was characterized by new biological treatments, such as antibiotics. These advancements, along with developments in chemistry, genetics, and lab technology led to modern medicine. Medicine was heavily professionalized in the 20th century, and new careers opened to women as nurses and as physicians. The 21st century is characterized by highly advanced research involving numerous fields of science.
Healthcare in America was very limited during the early 1800s but advanced during the 1900s. One of the most critical scientific discoveries was made by Alexander Fleming in 1928 when he found a way to fight infection utilizing penicillin (Ho, 1999). This provided a way to treat infection and save lives. Also, facilities, organizational structure and training of health care were limited along with advancements in medicine and technology. However the expansion of heath care facilities advanced with the adoption of the Hill-Burton Act that provided federal funds matched by state/local governments to construct 10,748 healthcare facilities ranging from nursing homes, mental health and public hospitals (Thomas, 2006). Prior to this there were
“War is the only proper school for a surgeon” - Hippocrates. That would be the case in the early 20th century. The early 20th century is commonly associated with war, blood shed and conflict. During this time is when lots of people died. People died due to many things; war or battle, lack of medical care, or even due to an epidemic. Medical care was rough back then, the shortage of doctors and the lack of medical facilities made the death toll higher. Today, we see less people die due to epidemics, lack of medical care and even less due to battle. Thats all possible because medical care during the 20th century is very different from today, given that today we have better facilities, more doctors, and more advanced technology.
In the preindustrial era, 1800s, the United States fell behind other countries in health services. There was no medical training until around 1870 (Shi & Singh, 2013). Medical training began with students training under the supervision of physicians. Physicians saw patients by making house calls. Health care was delivered in a free market (Shi & Singh, 2013). No one had insurance so costs were out of pocket. For most Americans, this was a problem and some rural areas relied on folk medicine to heal the sick. The medical institutions during this era were not sanitized properly and nurses were not trained to practice safety and hygiene care. The government provided facilities for elderly, chronically ill patients, and clinics that offered free care.
Medicine has always been improving throughout the years, but the 1940s were one of the most critical times of how medicine is still practiced today. There were a lot of medical advancements in the 1940s. New antibiotics were discovered, new medical practices helped in the war effort, tests and organizations set up to help find problems in health or health care.
In 18th century America, medicine was in a transition mode. While some pre-modern practices were still around, the 18th century saw the beginnings of a new modern medical practice. Replacing the passed down wisdom from the ancient world was clinical observation, the first American medical school, and experimental science, along with many physicians beginning to replace midwives. During the 18th century, a transition from pre-modern practices and theories to modern medical practice occurred because of medical education and the growth of hospitals, advances in medical procedures, and different types of medical practitioners.
Prior to the late 1840’s, medicine was predominately practiced by males because women were not given the same opportunities and rights that men were born with. As a result they were forced to fight for admission into medical school to be given the freedom and choice to learn and collaborate with men. Their struggles didn’t cease once they were permitted to attend medical school; they were frequently ostracized and secluded from job opportunities in hospitals and clinics. Women were forced to put in double the amount of work, only to achieve half of the success of their male counterparts.
During the 1800s, there was several diseases affecting people left and right. “Diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox, measles, chickenpox, cholera, whooping cough and influenza, among others” (“1800s: My Place, Diseases”) were some of the known diseases that would cripple or cause death to multiple people. Often Plantation owners and their slaves would have the same diseases, but plantation owners had a higher chance at surviving than slaves did. Doctors would prescribe the same treatment to anyone with a disease, usually natural herbs or bleeding out. Doctors from England that lived in America could no longer visit England for medical advice after the Revolutionary War, so several doctors started to improvise with many different remedies
In the early 1900’s medicine was making some steps closer into some great improvements for health and better understanding of the human body. Doctors with sufficient knowledge of the human body and cures for diseases and viruses were scarce. People were much more concerned with government and politics, than health and medicine, until one of the greatest and most grotesque lethal pandemics that’s struck the earth in human history. This pandemic the “Spanish Flu” spread so rapidly and had an extremely high mortality rate. This was caused by the close contact of humans and poor cleanliness and sanitation, and the host (virus) and the body taking harsh action
During the victorian era only the aristocracy class could afford treatments. According to the book, victorian era ,written by clarice swisher, 90% of treatments consisted of keeping the patients comfortable and letting nature take their course. People were also recommended to stay clean, have lots of rest, and eat lots of nourishing foods. During the 19th century, wine, narcotic drugs and traditional herbal preparations were used to promote sleep in order to relieve coughs, muscle cramps, nausea, and other symptoms. Many diseases were treated by purging, bloodletting and dosing people with dangerous drugs which ended up causing more harm than good. (swisher 89) These are all ways health differs in the victorian era from today's
The Changes In Medicine In The Nineteenth Century The nineteenth century was one of the most important eras in the history of medicine as many new cures and technologies were discovered. At the beginning, many poor people still lived in houses without
Although doctors were supposed to be considered medical experts, they were not taken seriously due to the fact that a patient had less than a fifty percent chance of benefiting from a doctor’s visit (“The 1920s: Medicine and Health: Overview”, n.p.). Doctors struggled to diagnose and fix medical problems due to inexperience and lack of tools (“The 1920s: Medicine and Health: Overview”, n.p.). As a result of the substandard medical community, maternal deaths and child deaths were commonplace, while simple sicknesses often turned into fatal infections (“The 1920s: Medicine and Health: Overview”, n.p.). When the first wave of the influenza pandemic struck in the spring of 1918, the medical community was taken aback by the pandemic’s unpredicted wrath (Peters, 13). The typically mellow influenza virus, characterized by familiar symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, congestion, and body aches, claimed victims within hours (Peters, ix, 1-5). This was a sickness like no other, and it left the medical community baffled. Doctors nor medical experts knew what the sickness was, why it was spreading, what was causing it, or how to fix it (Peters, 1-5). All branches of the medical field practically shut down: researchers found no potential
Before medicine was like it is today there was a much higher fatality rate after getting sick. It didn’t really matter what you got sick with considering treatment was not a very common thing in the 1200’s. Most women died during or after child birth due to the lack of sanitation. There were no cough drops for when people had a sore throat. Things such as the flu would cause death much more frequently just because there was very limited treatment for it in a world where blood circulation was a newfound discovery. One of the restrictions on past medicine is the elements used being readily available. Obviously it wasn’t as easy to get access to things such as magnesium back then as it is today. That fact alone would limit the growth of medicine for some time. But as chemists began making discoveries other fields of science grew as well.