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April 22, 1939

Giants of Medicine in Pioneer Kentucky: A Study of Influences for Greatness

JAMA. 1939;112(16):1630-1631. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800160094033

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Having been reared in Kentucky and having personal knowledge of its geography, its people and its resources, William Allen Pusey is in the fortunate position of being able to portray the courage, resourcefulness, vision and ability of its pioneers and with a facile pen to pay tribute to their attainments. This he has interestingly and adequately done. The circumstances under which these pioneers lived and worked, including a lack of hospitals, of trained nursing personnel, of a knowledge of surgical cleanliness, of instruments of precision as we now know them, of the aid of the blessed insensibility of anesthesia and the presence of inherent and seemingly insuperable difficulties, make the incredulity of their contemporaries readily understandable and emphasize their claims to renown for the development of greatness. Bardstown, with the most illustrious courts and bar in the West, had but 820 inhabitants when Brashear did the first hip joint amputation

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