junghouse - Andrew Wright April 8 2008 English 02 Section...

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Andrew Wright April 8, 2008 English 02 Section 046 Prof. Trinh House is Not Homely “At what point in history did a doctor become more than a trusted and a learned friend who visits and treats the ill?” -Patch Adams For the first several hundred thousand years of human existence, doctors did not exist. If a person became sick or injured, they usually died fairly quickly, as the knowledge about how to properly heal someone did not yet exist. Eventually, enough knowledge was gained about basic human health that the Medicine Man came about. These precursors to doctors had very little actual medical knowledge. They used herbs and powders in order to try to cure people’s ailments. Through trial and error, progress was made, and the beginnings of modern medicine eventually took hold. In 1858, Henry Gray released the famous medical text Gray’s Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical . This was the first actual scientific medical textbook and it marks the beginning of modern medicine as we know it today. From 1858 on, doctors based their treatments actual scientific evidence instead of just on a hunch or based on spiritual beliefs. The next major medical breakthrough was in 1928, when Sir Alexander Flemming discovered the antibiotic Penicillin. After the discovery, people no longer had to fear the bacterial infections that had killed the majority of the population. Now, doctors had to worry about diseases like cancer and viral infections instead of diseases like Yellow Fever and Measles. In order to gain the knowledge required to treat these more complicated diseases, doctors had to begin to specialize. Specialization meant that
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patients now had to see more than one doctor to receive treatment and that caused the beginning of the cold, impersonal attitude that is so prevalent in today’s doctors. However, it was not until the 1970’s that hospitals became a big business. It was not until hospitals began to form networks and compete with each other in the 1970’s did the problem of patient care become a concern. The corporatization of the health care industry is largely responsible for the decline in personal care over the past 30 years or so. With better testing for and treatment of diseases, there comes a higher cost to pay for the expensive technology. Individual doctors and practices cannot afford to buy the million dollar machines like MRI’s and
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course ENG 2 taught by Professor Trihn during the Spring '08 term at Lehigh University .

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junghouse - Andrew Wright April 8 2008 English 02 Section...

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