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May 2, 1931

Medicine in Virginia in the Seventeenth Century.

JAMA. 1931;96(18):1533. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720440081038

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This volume, prepared by the Historical Committee of the Virginia Medical Society, is an account of the practice of medicine in Virginia from 1607 to 1700. The book is introduced by B. F. Tucker. There follows a well written account of the beginnings of medicine in the cradle of the nation. The volume reveals much intensive research into early medical practice and there are numerous quotations from letters written in early days. Without any knowledge of the prevention of infectious disease and with the rigors of primitive life, many people died unnecessarily. The years of hardship favored the development of beriberi and scurvy; malaria was frequent and there were fearful epidemics of respiratory diseases. Medical education began in Virginia not long after the arrival of the first real physician. Illiteracy was widespread and education was largely on the apprentice system. Dr. Blanton presents chapters on women in medicine, on the

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