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Books, Journals, New Media
November 16, 2005

Frontier Medicine

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.

JAMA. 2005;294(19):2505. doi:10.1001/jama.294.19.2505-a

Retired pathologist Volney Steele, MD, has produced a book of vignettes about frontier medicine. The stories in Bleed, Blister, and Purge range from what is now Texas in 1528 to the Children’s Hospital in Helena, Montana, in the 1970s.

Part 1, “Old West Healers and Healing,” begins with an admiring look at the medical practices of Native Americans. Methods of treatment developed over centuries had served Indians well, but diseases brought by European explorers, traders, and settlers presented traditional Indian medicine with challenges that could not be met.

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