Images from the Library

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From Jules Morel’s Manuel d’anatomie artistique (1877).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Digital Highlights: Cannon and Social Work

Medical social work was a burgeoning field in the early decades of the twentieth century; what might now be considered a ‘holistic approach’ to medicine — dealing with the patient’s social background, life experience, job, and so on — was beginning to be regarded as a necessary corollary to medical treatment.

Ida M. Cannon published her Social Work in Hospitals in 1913 which, with the benefit of hindsight, seems to be unfortunate timing; within a year for many of her reading audience, the question will be numbers of hospital beds, recovery facilities, and medical staff, not so much how they treat their patients in a social context. Cannon followed her brother, Walter Bradford, to Boston from the family home in Minnesota. She supplemented her nursing education in Boston at the School for Social Workers and went on to work with Doctor Richard C. Cabot at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1914, a year after the publication of her book, she was named Chief of Social Service at the hospital; she held the position for over thirty years.

In her book, Cannon gives a brief overview of the history of medical social work starting with religious communities and their historical role as supporters of the sick. She presents the social worker as a valuable adjunct to the physician, able to interact with the patient in different ways and supplement medical care with social assistance.

Flip through the pages of Cannon’s book below or follow this link to read Social Work in Hospitals.

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

A/V from the Library

Click “play” above or follow this link to watch Was World War I Good for Medicine? (2014).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Images from the Library

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From Robert H.A. Plimmer’s Practical organic and biochemistry (1918).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Digital Highlights: New York Journal of Medicine

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Chest x-rays illustrating an article on pulmonary abscess from 1922 New York Journal of Medicine.

New titles from our National Endowment for the Humanities-funded grant to digitize medical journals are going up in our collection on the Internet Archive regularly.

A recent addition is the New York Medical Journal, in a run from 1865 to 1922. The 1865 volume includes an obituary on Abraham Lincoln and articles, notes, and communications on abortion, uterine surgery, scurvy, and diabetes. The volume itself is set in close type with narrow margins. There is no obvious front page graphic or header to identify the journal and it plunges directly into its first article without preamble or introduction.

The 1922 volume, by comparison, includes a very polished title page and front page header. The title page identifies three other titles — the Medical Record, the Philadelphia Medical Review, and the Medical News — which are presumably being published as part of the Journal title. As an odd parallel, the first article in the 1922 volume is also about gynecological surgery, in this case about the use of radium for certain conditions.

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

 

A/V from the Library

Click “play” above or follow this link to watch Smoke in the eye (1996).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Images from the Library

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From Elias Ashmole’s Theatrum chemicum britannicum : containing severall poeticall pieces of our famous English philosophers, who have written the hermetique mysteries in their owne ancient language (1652).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Digital Highlights: Artificial Limbs

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Illustration of artificial leg.

The rise in demand for artificial limbs — hands, legs, feet, and arms — after the American Civil War can readily be imagined. Recent scholarship in medical history has explored the medical care of the time.

For those who survived serious battlefield wounds, substitutes had to be provided and entrepreneurs in the field stepped forward; among them, was Marks’ Patent Artificial Limbs which issued a small pamphlet in 1867 advertising its wares, announcing the recent winning of a gold medal prize, and offering many testimonials from surgeons and patients of the excellence of the Marks’ limbs.

The writer of the pamphlet clearly does not want to be labelled as a war profiteer; he says early and often that he is drawing on the experience of fourteen years in the business of artificial limbs. He even takes it upon himself to give some advice to surgeons as to the best way to perform amputations with an eye to fitting with a suitable replacement limb after healing.

You can read the entire pamphlet here or look through more of the Medical Heritage Library’s resources on Civil War medicine.

A/V from the Library

Click “play” above or follow this link to watch Singapore Emergency Department’s SARS Experience (2005).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Images from the Library

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From Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna’s translation of The Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text (1907).

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

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