Doctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region

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Doctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region
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Doctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region
Mimmack, Fred
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Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
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Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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Doctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 9:26:42 AM] Home Doctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak RegionDoctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak RegionSubmitted by nwharton on 5-5-2013 08:45 PMAuthor: Edited by Chris Nicholl, Tim Blevins, Michael L. Olsen, Dennis Daily, Sydne Dean, and Katherine Scott Sturdevant Publishing: Colorado Springs, CO: Pikes Peak Library District, 2012. 393 pages. Black-and-white photographs, illustrations, maps, endnotes, index, bibliography. $24.95 paperback. Reviewer: Fred Mimmack, M.D. This special collection of essays, memoirs, and articles plus one play came from the 2008 Pikes Peak Regional History Symposium sponsored by the Pikes Peak Library District. Far-ranging chapters cover medicine shows, healers, adventurers, courageous doctors and nurses, health seekers, frauds, tramps, and murderers. Tis a privilege to live in Colorado proclaimed Frederick Bonfils, owner of The Denver Post This sentiment could have been echoed by a number of Colorado doctors of the mid-nineteenth century who passionately believed in the health-giving benefits of the high, dry Colorado climate. They encouraged sufferers from tuberculosis and other lung diseases who came to Colorado in great numbers. By 1900 tuberculosis treatment had become the primary industry in Colorado Springs. The book begins with early nineteenth century doctors in the region, namely military doctors who accompanied the early explorers and military commanders. These medics were faced mostly with the treatment of wounds and injuries sustained in accidents as well as those resulting from battles with Native Americans. Many of the early doctors practiced without benefit of medical diplomas, and their treatments consisted mostly of quinine, opiates, emetics, cathartics, and bloodletting. The book includes tales of medicine shows and faith healers, and moves on to focus on the lives and contributions of a number of very interesting, well-educated, and competent physicians. One of the most colorful, Charles Fox Gardiner (1859), was the frail only child of wealthy New York parents. He set out for a career in frontier medicine in Colorado after graduation from medical school. Gardiner worked in the rough-and-tumble mining and ranching areas of Crested Butte and Meeker before settling in Colorado Springs and a more urban practice. He became expert in the treatment of tuberculosis, and invented the Gardiner Sanitory Tent. It followed the design of a Ute tepee, allowing the patient to live in freely ventilated, unheated clean air. The contributions of women in medicine are included in this anthology. Florence Sabin, born in Central City and educated at Smith and Johns Hopkins, became a researcher in pulmonary diseases but late in life returned to Colorado from the East. Hired by the state of Colorado and then by the city of Denver, she championed public health reforms, transforming Colorado from one of the most backward to most advanced states with her Sabin Health Laws. Dr. Edith Jackson, born in Colorado Springs and educated at Colorado College and Harvard, devised the practice of rooming-in for new mothers and their infants, EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWithin Colorado boundaries are lands once claimed by Spanish kings and Mexican governors.


Doctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 9:26:42 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us ending the practice of separating new mothers from their babies. Doc Susie, the famous country doctor of Grand County, is mentioned, and a chapter is devoted to Justina Ford, Colorados first black woman doctor. Although successful and popular in Denver, she suffered both gender and racial discrimination by the medical establishment. Marshall Sprague, the late historian, writer, and recovered lunger himself, offers engaging tributes to the philanthropy of the Palmers and Penroses, and personal anecdotes about several of the early doctors such as Webb, Hoagland, Sully, and Swan. He includes a charming story about a young nursemaid in his employ who had a dramatic therapeutic benefit from exposure to pornography. The statistics about the 1918 influenza epidemic are shocking in that the mortality rate in Colorado was the fifth highest in the nation. The high altitude was suspected to be a factor. The first deaths occurred on the Colorado College campus, closing the school, and ultimately shutting down the city. There are tributes to Boswell Anderson and his contribution to the establishment of Glockner-Penrose Hospital, to Lester Williams, and to Juan del Regato, a pioneer radiation therapist. A description of the level of mental health care in the late 1800s and early 1900s includes poignant stories of the treatment of the authors relatives. A section of newspaper articles covers florid stories of strange deaths including unsolved murders and an interesting version of the Alfred Packer cannibalism story written by a Denver Post columnist who worked for Packers parole. The collections final piece is a charming play called The Widows Herd featuring Dr. Gardiner practicing medicine on horseback. The level of readability of the various entries in the collection is uneven. Some characters, like Charles Gardiner and Justina Ford, really come alive, and one is stimulated to follow ones curiosity about the sources of the motivation, strength, courage, and ingenuity possessed by these remarkable pioneers. Readers will find ample annotations and bibliographies, including such works of interest as Spragues Money Mountain and Gardiners Doctor at Timberline Reviewer Info: Fred Mimmack, M.D., is the grandson of Weld County farming pioneers. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and teaches in the Department of Psychiatry and at the Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis. He maintains an office in Denver.