Dr. Betterman and the story of how modern medicine came to a small town

“All doctors have to put on a bold front. […] I am not ashamed to confess that I do not know it all. Probably never will. I do try to use the best things and methods that rational science has to officer. All medicine has much yet to learn.” So writes Dr. Amos Betterman in […]

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Recently, I did some light research on operating table design. I was looking for changes in design and materials so that I could help a researcher date their newly-acquired artifact. What I found was that after about 1920, operating tables didn’t change much. They all looked about the same and had similar features. The biggest […]

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Medical Advancements of the Civil War

Dr. Peter D’Onofrio in dress Union colonel uniform On Wednesday evening, Dr. Peter D’Onofrio spoke to a full-capacity crowd about the many medical advancements made during the Civil War. Most of the improvements had to do with the organization of the military and provisions for wounded soldiers and veterans: The Army organized an effective method […]

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19th century doctors in the U.S.

During the late 1800s, many advances in medical knowledge and technology resulted in dramatic changes to many areas of the profession. The two major advances were the acceptance of the germ theory of disease and the use of anesthesia during surgery. These two discoveries, in combination with continued research of the human body and the […]

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19th century amputation and surgical kits

The artifact collection at the Rose Melnick Medical Museum includes one amputation set and one surgical kit, both from the 19th century. Both kits contain tools for general surgical procedures of the time including tourniquets, knives and scalpels, capital saws, tenacula, and artery forceps. Both kits also include trephining tools for cutting the skull. Although […]

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