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December 5, 1977

Medicine in Kentucky

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1977;238(23):2545. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280240091041

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Here is a good, small book that makes us wish for a longer one.

In recent years there has been a growing tendency to publish regional histories of medicine, covering individual states. As part of the bicentennial celebration of Kentucky's existence, John Ellis, a professional historian, not a physician, has written a short survey of the history of medicine in that state. His presentation, as might be expected, lays special stress on such aspects as medical education, the development of medical institutions, the socioeconomic influences that helped to shape medicine, the cultural patterns, the personalities of the physicians as far as they are revealed through various memoirs and documents, and to some extent the political realities involved. Receiving much less attention is the account of medical doctrines and the successive transformations that medical theory underwent. The story covers an exciting period in intellectual history whose description is much less detailed