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Books, Journals, New Media
October 24/31, 2001

American Medical HistoryThe Renaissance of American Medicine: A Century of New Learning and Caring

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2001;286(16):2028. doi:10.1001/jama.286.16.2028-JBK1024-2-1

The Renaissance of American Medicine begins with two chapters briefly summarizing the history of American medicine from the early 1600s to circa 1800. This introductory portion is nicely done, with fascinating observations on the horrendous death rates of the early colonial period. For instance, Ezra Stiles, later President of Yale University (1778-1795), compiled data on deaths in Rhode Island; 20% were in persons younger than one year while about 15% occurred in people older than 60 years. Smallpox was recorded as a cause of death in every year during which Stiles kept his records.

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