How Would We Survive if Medical Care Reverted Back to the 1800’s?

Modern medical care is a wonderful thing. It’s a mixed blessing though. Paying for it presents difficulties, and not everyone has access to the best care available for various reasons.

Many of us, myself included, are turning away from conventional medicine wherever possible in favor of natural, alternative or herbal medicine. Still, we have it much better in America than we did in the 18th and 19th centuries.

As preppers we ponder the possibility that the clock could be turned backward for any number of reasons. It could be an EMP, drastic economic collapse, or something yet unforeseen. Such a setback would have an immediate impact on medical care.

What was it like for early American settlers who became ill or needed a surgical procedure? We get a glimpse in Frontier Medicine: From the Atlantic to the Pacific, 1492-1941, by David Dary. It’s a DestinySurvival Pick.

This book isn’t meant to be a definitive work. Instead, it’s a very good overview of medicine through time and in various regions of our country.

As for survival value, it’s not a how-to book. But if you’re curious and want some background on how medicine has progressed since America’s early days, you’ll want to read Frontier Medicine.

I agree with one reviewer who said coverage of the 20th century to 1941 is weak. But the stories told of mountain men and early settlers make this book fascinating and enlightening.

Chapter topics include:

  • Indian Medicine
  • Early American Medicine
  • Over the Appalachians
  • Beyond the Mississippi
  • Fur Traders and Trappers
  • On the Oregon Trail
  • Among the Soldiers
  • On Homestead and Ranch
  • In Western Towns
  • Going West for Your Health
  • Midwives and Women Doctors
  • Patent Medicines
  • Quacks
  • Into the Twentieth Century

Who knows when we might find ourselves living again like they did in the 19th century? Would we be nearly as hardy and steadfast as mountain men and pioneers traveling west? Would we be as creative with remedies and solutions?

We know so much more about the human body and its needs than early Americans. Books on a wide variety of medical issues are available now.

We’ve got better sanitation practices, antibiotics, plastics and other modern materials they lacked in centuries past. But so much of our medical treatments are dependent on electricity. How would we get along without it?

For a trip back in time that could be useful for our future, get Frontier Medicine by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

Whether you get this book for yourself or for children being home schooled, you’ll find it enjoyable. It would make a good gift for anyone you know who’s studying medicine.

For real world medical solutions in a post apocalyptic setting, get The Survival Medicine Handbook.

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

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