PHILADELPHIA REFLECTIONS
Musings of a Philadelphia Physician who has served the community for six decades

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Colonial Philadelphia

Subcultures
E pluribus unum refers to thirteen colonies peacefully becoming a single nation. But it applies to Philadelphia in a different sense. Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods.

Philadelphia Medicine
The first hospital, the first medical school, the first medical society, and abundant Civil War casualties, all combined to establish the most important medical center in the country. It's still the second largest industry in the city.

Philadelphia Physicians
Philadelphia dominated the medical profession so long that it's hard to distinguish between local traditions and national ones. The distinctive feature is that in Philadelphia you must be a real doctor before you become a mere specialist.

Quakers: The Society of Friends
According to an old Quaker joke, the Holy Trinity consists of the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Customs, Culture and Traditions
Abundant seafood made it easy to settle here. Agriculture takes longer.

Revolutionary Philadelphia's Patriots
All kinds of people were patriots in 1776, and many of them were all mixed up about what was going on and how they stood. Hotheads in the London Coffee House stirred up about an inoffensive Tea Act, Scotch-Irish come here to escape the British Crown, the local artisan class and the local smuggler class, unexpectedly prospering under non-importation, and the local gentry -- offended to be denied seats in Parliament like other Englishmen. Pennsylvania wavered until Ben Franklin stepped forward with a plan.

Volunteerism
The characteristic American behavior called volunteerism got its start with Benjamin Franklin's Junto, and has been a source of comment by foreign visitors ever since. It's still a very active force.

Indigents
With a long history of welcoming and assisting the poor, Philadelphia has always risked swamping the lifeboat by attracting more of them than it can handle.

Health Insurance
Clinton Health Plan and its replacements.

Academia, Medical Version
The first hospital in America generated the first medical school, the first medical society, and many of the unique features of American medicine. In modern times, the gusher of federal research funds not only distorted academic medicine, but academia as a whole.

Obamacare: Examination and Response
An appraisal of the Affordable Care Act and-- with some guesswork-- its tricky politics. Then, a way to capture major new revenue, even paying down existing Medicare debt, without raising premiums or harming quality care. Then, an offering of reforms even more basic, but more incremental. Finally, the briefest of statements about the basic premise.

(www.Philadelphia-Reflections.com/topic/134.htm)

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July 4, 1776: Patients in the Pennsylvania Hospital on Independence Day

According to the records of the Pennsylvania Hospital, the following 48 persons were patients in the hospital on July 4, 1776:

Richard Brinkinshire (Admitted 11/15/1775) John Ridgeway (Admitted 12/26/1775)
James Chartier (Admitted 1/6/1776) patient (Admitted 1/6/1776)
patient (Admitted 1/20/1776) patient (Admitted 1/20/1776)
Mary Yell (Admitted 2/7/1776l) John Beckworth (Admitted 2/7/1776)
Bart. McCarty (Admitted 2/10/1776) John King (Admitted 2/10/1776)
Robert Alden (Admitted 2/17/1776) William Patterson (Admitted 3/6/1776)
Elizabeth Hanna (Admitted 3/9/1776) John McMahon (Admitted 3/13/1776)
Mary Burgess (Admitted 3/23/1776) Mary Anderson (Admitted 4/10/1776)
John Hatfield (Admitted 4/15/1776) Eliza Haighn (Admitted 4/17/1776)
Charles Whitford (Admitted 4/24/1776) patient (Admitted 5/8/1776)
Susanna Carrington (Admitted 5/8/1776) patient (Admitted 5/8/1776)
William Johnson (Admitted 5/13/1776) Lazarus Chesterfield (Admitted 5/22/1776)
Mary Spieckel (Admitted 5/22/1776l) William Edwards (Admitted 5/22/1776)
patient (Admitted 5/23/1776, Lunatic) Jane White (Admitted 5/25/1776)
Charles McGillop (Admitted 5/29/1776) ---Fitzgerald (Admitted 6/1/1776)
Michael Rowe (Admitted 6/6/1776) patient (Admitted 6/6/1776)
John Hughes (Admitted 6/12/1776) Joseph Smith (Admitted 6/15/1776)
Esther Munro Lunda (Admitted 6/15/1776) Mathew Coope (Admitted 6/19/1776)
Anne Patterson (Admitted 6/19/1776) Thomas Savoury (Admitted 6/20/1776)
Rebecca Winter (Admitted 6/26/1776) Elizabeth Manning (Admitted 6/26/1776)
Negro (Admitted 6/24/1776) Elex. Scanvay (Admitted 6/24/1776)
Fanny Stewart (Admitted 6/24/1776) Peter Barber (Admitted 6/29/1776)
Catherine Campbell (Admitted 6/29/1776) Ann McGlauklin (Admitted 7/3/1776)
Elizabeth Lindsay (Admitted 7/3/1776) Ann Jones (Admitted 7/3/1776)


The records indicate the following diseases were the reason for admission of those patients. Although in Colonial times there was no medical delicacy to avoid offending readers, present privacy standards require that we strip the diagnoses from the name of the patient and list them independently. There is some overlap, sometimes making it difficult to judge which disorder caused the admission.

  • Sore, poisoned or ulcerated legs: 16 cases
  • Lunacy, mind or head disorders: 10 cases
  • Syphilis: 7 cases
  • Fever and Rheumatic fever: 7 cases
  • Dropsy: 5 cases
  • Gunshot: 4 cases
  • Diabetes: 1
  • Blindness with clear pupil: 1
  • Spitting blood: 1 case
  • Dislocated arm: 1 case
  • Inflammation of face: 1 case
  • Scurvy: 1 case
  • broken arm: 1 case

The following physicians were elected at the Managers Meeting dated 5/13/1776:

  • Dr. Thomas Bond
  • Dr. Thomas Cadwalader
  • Dr. John Redman
  • Dr. William Shippen
  • Dr. Adam Kuhn
  • Dr. John Morgan

(1431)

George: Thanks for this interesting account. I find that none of my known ancestors were there on that date. I wonder about the hospital census during the yellow fever epidemic 7 years later when I have records indicating that some of them perished. I wonder who was admitted and who just died at home. Better to stay away from Dr. Rush. Have a glorious Fourth. Bill William B. Carey, M.D.
Posted by: Bill Carey   |   Jul 3, 2012 10:57 AM

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