Today’s Healthcare With Its Advances In Technology As Opposed To 100 Years Ago

Written by: George Smith

Healthcare has a wide variety of topics to discuss today. One hundred years ago you could have a doctor come out to your farm and have him sew up a cut or amputate a gangrenous leg and take a couple of chickens, come canned goods, and a sack of flour home as payment. In the early 1900s, medicine and healthcare were basically performed as first aid is today. It was only when an emergency arose that people would seek medical help. Most medicine was home remedies that were made from herbs and roots from the garden. Generally, large outbreaks of disease would be the only things that were documented by educated physicians. Scurvy, Black Fever, and other outbreaks that killed massive amounts of the population were even thought of being cured.

Healthcare back then was not even a thing really. Doctors that were educated at Harvard or overseas were considered expensive (and they were) and for the elite or very wealthy. Barbers were somewhat trained in that they could pull teeth, give out some medicines, and sew up a deep cut. The barber pole traditionally represents bloodletting from the Medival times when that was thought to be a medicinal treatment for headaches and other symptoms that people would have. In the USA the barber pole is red, white, and blue. Of course, we now know that healthcare is left to the educated physicians and not the barber. We will leave the hair cuts and shaves to them and the amputations to the physicians.

More Modern Times

In the early 20th century modern advances in medicine were coming along. There was still a great deal to learn but those new discoveries were being implemented right and left as the physicians became more and more knowledgeable and started really learning from the human body and listening to patients before they died. Treating patients with modern treatments became more and more popular and kind of keeping up with Jone’s philosophy. Doctors would come to the United States from other countries and show their discoveries and discuss what we as USA doctors would do to discover new treatments and how they work. This is when the American Medical Association was started. The purpose was to get everyone together to discuss the different opinions and the different medical conditions and diseases that they were exposed to. When radiation was discovered and the scientists were dying off right and left someone decided to start using mice and rats as testers. A great deal of medicinal successes can be attributed to trail and error. As the years went on and physicians were learning and trying new things healthcare started branching out and becoming something that everyone needed on a daily basis. Not just for emergent care. Emergency care was still number one, however, other issues became more renowned as more and more doctors were out in the communities. Doctors began keeping notes on certain diseases and what the symptoms were. They kept notes on different diseases too. Children had different diseases than adults did. There were diseases of different parts of the body too.

Specialty Practices

These differences led to different doctors studying cadavers and what course the disease took on the body. People started donating their bodies to science and discoveries were being made. Vaccinations were developed and childhood diseases were being eliminated with inoculations. Soon diseases such as Polio, measles, and mumps, were diseases of the past as doctors began to focus on childhood disease and cures. Other diseases were being eliminated as well as innovations and discoveries were made continuously. Specialties in other areas became prominent as well. As we began to age and going to the doctor was still for emergent care but also for seriously ill people. Tuberculosis was a common disease of the lungs, heart diseases were killing a huge number of people and so the development of heart specialists and lung doctors were on the rise. Cancer was just becoming the number one killer among people and so the Oncologists were specializing in care and treatment of cancers as more types were discovered, more treatments followed. As generations were aging doctors began seeing common diseases in the elderly and began treating those such as cholesterol, dementia, and arthritis. Now it seems there is a specialty for any and all ailments the human body can come up with. It is just amazing how the medical profession has evolved in the last fifty years let alone the last one hundred.

Health Care Today

Today we have so many medicines available for any symptom we have. From a headache to insomnia to cancer to heart attack. People are surviving these things because we are learning how to care for ourselves better and also because we have so much medicine and health care available at our fingertips. We have the internet now as well which is a plethora of information to look up what symptoms mean and what we can do to treat those symptoms. People are living longer and taking better care of themselves. Leaning that bad habits contribute to certain diseases and how to quit those and move on to a better, longer, healthier life is one of the key reasons our society is living to the average age of 72. In 1977 the average age was 52. So just in the last four decades life expectancy has increased by twenty years. Exercise and taking care of our mental health is also a huge contribution to this increase. However, advances in medical training, technology, diagnosis, and medicine are the largest contributors to these statistics. Insurance coverage has contributed to making health care readily available to everyone as well. Costs can be expensive and having additional coverage is important to the patient because most people won’t go if they have to pay out of pocket for the expenses that arise when having to go to the doctor for all ailments. Some of us have more ailments than others and need more coverage so that is also becoming more and more available to people that need more insurance than others.


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