[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 8, 1992

Medicine in America: A Short History

Author Affiliations

University of California, San Francisco

JAMA. 1992;267(14):1973. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480140099042

Nowadays reputable scholars usually shy away from writing synthetic historical pieces. The sheer magnitude of the contemporary literature intimidates even the brave, while an increasingly specialized academic reward system discourages general works that fail to reveal new sources of evidence. Thus, readers will praise Dr Cassedy and his courage to write such an interesting history of American medicine.

As the author explains in the preface, this book "is selective rather than definitive in nature, suggestive and interpretive rather than comprehensive." This approach allows him to de-emphasize the usual list of dates, names, and accomplishments that crowd so many similar publications.

It should be stated from the outset that Cassedy's work is not a conventional history of medicine. Unlike Paul Starr's The Social Transformation of American Medicine, which specifically focuses on the medical profession in our country, the author has carefully woven health-related events and developments into the tapestry of American