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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Douglas M. Haynes, PhD (University of California Irvine)
Description: This book is a retelling of the history of the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Purpose: The rise in the mid-nineteenth century and decline by the Second World War of this College is a documentation of the history of medical sectarianism in the U.S. The author not only reveals a heterogeneous and turbulent landscape of medicine and healthcare, he also shows that the ascendancy of regular or allopathic medicine produced distinctly unfavorable consequences for alternative medicine.
Audience: Practitioners and other students of medicine interested the history of alternative and/or regular medicine should find this account a fascinating, if not bittersweet, read.
Features: Drawing on the archives of the now defunct school, the author carefully reconstructs how academic leaders and students vainly sought to preserve an eclectic system of medicine when the leading professional organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Association of Medical Colleges relentlessly sought to standardize medical education.
Assessment: This book fills an important gap in the history of American medicine. Rather than ridiculing medical sectarianism or privileging regular medicine, the author offers a thoughtful chapter in the making of American medicine.