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If history may be considered the biography of great men, then the medical history of a
country consists of its local, city, regional, and state histories. There are but few good histories
of medicine dealing with cities and very few, indeed, dealing with the American cities. Boston
and Philadelphia have fairly good formal medical histories. A few others, notably Cincinnati,
have their past well recorded by medical historians. Indeed, Daniel Drake's epochal volumes
dealing with the diseases of the interior valley of North America managed to include a broad
ecological approach to medicine as well as medical history at the same time, and Drake's
charming little book with its two discourses on the beginnings of medicine in Cincinnati has
become a collector's item. Nonetheless, regional histories of medicine are few and are likely
to be second-rate affairs.
Chicago is not the newest of the great cities in this country. Its
Bean WB. Books. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(3):513. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00030010513036
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