Modernization and Medicine

640 Words3 Pages
Modernization and Medicine On the first day of class, we discussed how modernization has brought the institution of medicine so far. Although the cost of modernization is seen as the "social germ", modernization has also brought enormous improvement in health. Modern medicine defies all ancient reason. In primitive societies the division of labor was vague, no real specializing in anything, but over years of experimentation and development, the establishment of medicine was born. We now have overflowing systems of specialization and technological advancements, but this did not happen overnight. Originally, religion had made medicine its own institution, despite Hypocrites suggestion to "take medicine out of religion and make it its own; health depends on other things…" Doctors, when they existed, were not always the powerful profession that they are today. They had far less prestige, and before 1900, were rather despised. But there has always been a need to care for the sick. This dependence eventually called on those in the professional medical field. Being dependent on doctors means that we must submit to their authority and recognize their power, something that took years to come to. The acceptance of this professional authority was a revolution. This revolution created a pyramid of power, defining authority of various groups in a hierarchical sense. But this authority was not readily accepted. The people of the 19th century did not accept doctors as authoritative. They had more "common sense" that that and weren't ready to give up their own good judgment and submit to a physicians. But time, world events, and changes made the people more dependent. Self- reliance faded at the end of the 19th century, making folks more needy of specialized skill. People spread out geographically and couldn't rely on their neighbors as much anymore, turning them to professional "strangers" for help. Technologies such as transportation, telephones and hospitals helped welcome the professional world. The sick no longer lay in bed at home, but went into the hospitals to confide in the physicians for healing. Science began to get respect, forcing the scientific world of medicine to be recognized as well. No longer was it up to the woman of the house to keep remedies for illnesses on hand and care for the sick of the house. Domestic medicine was fading out of the picture by the late nineteenth century and professional medicine was rearing its costly head. Professional medicine began to gain legitimacy.
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