Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science

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Web of Healing



Where Are the Doctors?

Benjamin Rush is one of the Philadelphia’s most famous doctors. Known for his severe blood-letting during Philadelphia’s Yellow Fever outbreaks at the end of the 18th century, Rush serves as an example of the orthodox physicians of the period. Rush and his contemporaries and predecessors in 18th century Philadelphia, however, have been well researched by historians and doctors interested in medical history. While we acknowledge the extent to which physicians played a role in Philadelphia’s Web of Healing, we have chosen to focus the majority of this site on the under-investigated realms of healing, like those of Native Americans and the much maligned “quacks” who served as foils to men like Rush. For this reason, this site only deals with physicians in those areas in which their presence and practices overlapped with those of the people in our other nodes.

To Learn More

To learn more about the lives, practices, and institutions of 18th century Physicians like Benjamin Rush, please visit the bibliography.