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March 31, 1951

Memories, Men and Medicine: A History of Medicine in Sacramento, California, with Biographies of the Founders of the Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement and a Few Contemporaries

JAMA. 1951;145(13):1022. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920310078045

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Abstract

Gold was discovered near Sacramento in January 1848. In the next few years, Sacramento changed from a small village to a teeming mining center of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Among the many persons drawn by the lure of gold was a comparatively large number of physicians. They came from all parts of the country and even from foreign countries. They had diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Because of these unusual circumstances, Sacramento early became an important medical center in the rapidly growing state of California. The medical problems were largely those of the day and were aggravated by the primitive living conditions. Thus, there was a serious cholera epidemic in 1849.

The first medical society in California was the MedicoChirurgical Association of Sacramento, which was founded in 1850. This illustrates the rapid maturity that characterized California medicine. Dr. Jones traces the medical developments of the area from

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