Latrobe Hospital addition of 1943 with new entrance. Original 1910 building with 1928 Metzger annex is on left.
History of Medicine in Latrobe
The history of medicine in Latrobe is representative of the medicine practiced in small towns across America. It has grown and advanced as the state of the art has advanced. The people of Latrobe are proud of the present state of our medical care and feel it is second-to-none in this modern world.
During the research for this article, many people dug into their attics and basements and provided papers, pictures, books and other artifacts. These, along with oral histories, have put some added flavor into this presentation.
In the early days, medicine was practiced by men who “read” with another doctor. They trained on the job by helping an older doctor in his office and on his house calls. In this way they learned to be doctors. Some went from this apprenticeship to a few years of formal education at a medical school then returned to establish their own practice. Many went immediately to practice on their own with no formal credentials. Medical doctors were not registered until 1881, so the extent of a doctors education before that time was not always known.
The practice of medicine in the mid-19th century was primitive and non-scientific by today's standards and without specific treatment for most diseases. Each doctor had his own way of treating a particular disease, so the patient survived by good luck, basic good health, natural resistance to disease or all three!
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