By Naomi Rogers
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Extra info for An alternative path: the making and remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia
Announcement of the 1848 opening of the Homeopathic Medical College 25 5. The Homeopathic Medical College in the 1860s 33 6. Student's sketch of the college amphitheater in 1854 40 7. College anatomist Rufus B. Weaver and "Harriet," his 1888 dissection of a human nervous system 61 8. College spring course schedule for 1890 66 9. A surgical operation in the college amphitheater in 1899 69 10. An 1890s advertisement for the college 74 11. The back of second-year student's matriculation ticket, 1892-1893 75 12.
In the decades before the founding of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital there was no single medical profession in the United States. There were no national boards, specialty boards, government or private research institutes, or accreditation committees. 1 Medical practice in the United States has never been completely unified doctors often disagree, not only about therapy but also about diagnosis but in the early nineteenth century, in the absence of national examining or regulatory agencies, the way doctors practiced was even more idiosyncratic than it is today and depended on the teaching of their preceptors, their own experience and that of their colleagues, and what they might be reading in current medical journals and texts.
In 1790 Hahnemann performed an experiment on himself: he took cinchona bark, a source of quinine, and discovered that the drug produced the symptoms of malaria, the disease it was known to cure. From this and similar tests he called "provings" (from the German PrÜfung, or "testing") Hahnemann concluded that a sick person could be cured of a disease by a drug that in a healthy person produced symptoms similar to those of the disease. Hahnemann also concluded from his experiments that very small doses appeared to work better than the typically large doses used by most physicians.
An alternative path: the making and remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia by Naomi Rogers