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hanktrent
01-06-2008, 03:47 AM
I've not seen such a nice breakdown of doctors by system before. This is a listing of doctors in New Jersey, categorized by the medical system they use, from Transactions of the Medical Society of New Jersey, 1865 at

http://books.google.com/books?id=3NMCAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA122

I've added more paragraph breaks for easier reading.

The number of regular physicians in the State at the present time is 596; of this number a small percentage are not in active practice.

Of irregulars of all sorts, there are 130 males and 21 females. Of the female practictioners in the State, one only practices the regular system, being the wife of a regular physician in Mercer County.

The [male] adherents to the different forms of quackery are as follows:
Homeopaths 58
Eclectics 31
not classed 14
Thompsonian 6
Quacks 2 [uh, self-described? really?]
Electricians 2
Indian Doctor 1
Hydropath 1
Botanic 5
Swedish Movement 2
Inhalation 1
Cancer Doctor 3
Root 3
Clairvoyant 1

Of the females, there are:
Humor and Cancer doctors 2,
Eclectics 5
Clairvoyant 4
No system 3
Hydropath 1
Homeopath 2
Electrician 4

The female irregular practictioners have none of them received a medical education at any recognized school, and are nearly all of them of the class known as the progressive bloomer kind, spiritualists and infidels...

The population of New Jersey in 1860 was 672,035. Deducting say ten per cent from the number of regular physicians as retired or not in practice, we have one physician for every 1251 of the population. Of the quacks of all kinds, we have one to every 4450 of the people.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

amity
01-06-2008, 05:01 AM
Thanks, Hank.

What is the Swedish movement?
What is the difference between a botanic doctor and a root doctor?
What is a Cancer doctor? Did allopaths not treat cancer?

FloridaConfederate
01-06-2008, 10:09 AM
Quackery ?

http://mysite.verizon.net/ottertin/medwares.html

* Mr Peterson if you catch this...you make amazing things (in particular CS cups) and are a high spot of the hobby. I am assuming this lad is your boy...perhaps a photo of him in a period shirt, holding something other than an enema syringe is more inline with the image of your mid-19th century persona de sutler.

I do mean this constructively and with all due respect. Keep up the great work and the skills alive for another generation..

hanktrent
01-06-2008, 10:38 AM
What is the Swedish movement?

An Exposition of the Swedish-Movement Cure (http://books.google.com/books?id=77YfAAAAIAAJ&printsec=titlepage) , 1860

A gymnastic thing, more like yoga than strenuous exercises.


What is the difference between a botanic doctor and a root doctor?

My guess would be mostly semantics. A root doctor sounds more folksy and less educated, while a botanic doctor sounds more upscale. Anyone seen more information on this?


What is a Cancer doctor? Did allopaths not treat cancer?

Yes, but cancer doctors were those who typically travelled around, claiming that they had a special, usually secret, cure for cancer.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

amity
01-06-2008, 10:45 AM
I see. Thanks, Hank. Will look at link. Post more if you have it, please.

hanktrent
01-06-2008, 11:00 AM
Quackery ?

http://mysite.verizon.net/ottertin/medwares.html


All right, I'll bite. :) I'd say that none of the things on that page would have been considered anywhere near quackery in the 1860s, and they wouldn't be considered quackery even in hindsight, if we define quackery as medicine that's been shown to be actually useless or more harmful than helpful, rather than just a less-effective version of what we have today.

The enema syringe... Aside from the fact that enemas are still used, in the pre-hypodermic needle era (which would definitely have been the Rev War era, and almost to the Civil War), there were limited ways to give medicines that couldn't be taken orally. If a patient was nauseous, or by its very nature a medicine couldn't be absorbed well through the stomach, an enema was one practical way to work around that problem. A sterile hypodermic needle is a better solution, but before that was developed, an enema was a logical delivery method.

The Chisolm inhaler was an attempt at solving the problem of regulating the mix of oxygen and chloroform. We've got better tools for performing the same thing today, but it's still a task that needs done.

Quinine has been proven effective for malaria, which was one of its main uses in the 19th century, though better drugs have been introduced since. But for many patients in the 1860s (certainly not all) it really would have been the best drug available at that time.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net