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Books, Journals, New Media
March 9, 2005

Southern Medical History

JAMA. 2005;293(10):1267-1272. doi:10.1001/jama.293.10.1270

Who were the young men who entered the medical profession in the states of the Old South between 1830 and 1880, and why did they select a profession with limited possibilities of financial success and many challenges to their professional authority? What type of medical education did they receive in their urban-based medical school training? How did the social component of patients’ bedside experience determine the success of physicians’ practice, both clinically and financially? What do the copious writings of Southern physicians during these 50 years tell us about what they believed should be the scope of a country orthodox medical practice? Finally, why did the Civil War, the most significant event during these decades, have so little impact on medical practice in the postwar South? These and many other significant questions about the nature and scope of Southern rural medical practice in the mid 19th century are analyzed and answered in this outstanding book by Steven Stowe, an acknowledged expert in Southern history of medicine.