Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jane Austen's doctors

JaneAusten website links to an article on medical care in the Regency era of England.

mainly for later reading.

The practice of medicine in the late 18th to early 19th century was still hit and miss, with too many people dying from the treatment by doctors and apothecaries that was designed to save them.
If Jane Austen died of Addison's disease, one wonders how they diagnosed it...true, before the advent of antibiotics, TB going to the adrenal gland and destroying it...nowadays, most cases are probably mild cases from those given steroids which turn the adrenal glands off...and of course JFK had a mild form of Addison's disease, which didn't bother him most of the time but under the stress of back surgery almost killed him. His case was written up in the medical literature...and no, taking "steroids" didn't make him a drug addict or hyper: The dosage was small...although when as a doc I had to give more than 40 mg of Prednisone for asthma etc. I would warn my patient that it might make them hyper...

Note the part that surgeons evolved from barbers: and even today, surgeons in the UK are called "Mister",  not Doctor.

vaguely related item:

I follow the series "sherlock" and Dr. Watson, an "army surgeon" is called "doctor" and in series three is working as a general physician...I'm going to have to check up in the book if he is a surgeon or physician...

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