A Vital Force: Women in American Homeopathy

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Rutgers University Press, 2004 - Health & Fitness - 230 pages
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Homeopathy, as a medical system, presented a significant institutional and economic challenge to conventional medicine in the nineteenth century. Although contemporary critics portrayed homeopathic physicians as part of a sect whose treatment of disease was beyond the pale of acceptable medical practice, homeopathy was in many ways similar to established medicine. Anne Taylor Kirschmann explores the strategic choices and consequences for women practitioners. Not only were female homeopaths respected within their communities, they also enjoyed considerable professional advantages not available to women within regular medicine.

A Vital Force: Women in American Homeopathy offers a new interpretation of women's roles in modern medicine. Kirschmann strengthens and clarifies the history of homeopathic women physicians and creates a framework of comparison to "regular," or orthodox, physicians. Women medical practitioners chose homeopathy in dramatic numbers from the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, although the reasons for this preference varied over time. Linked to social reform movements in the nineteenth century, anti-modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth, and countercultural ideals of the 1960s and 1970s, women's advocacy of homeopathy has been intertwined with broad social and cultural issues in American society.

 

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51 Sarah J Millsop

Contents

The New School of Medicine 1820s to 1880s
7
Women Physicians Lay Healers and the Choice
29
Womens Homeopathic Medical
55
NineteenthCentury
74
The Transformation of American Medicine and
113
Chapter? Struggle for Survival 19201930
132
Appendix
169
Manuscript Sources
213
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About the author (2004)

Anne Taylor Kirschmann is an independent scholar and a lecturer in American history at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

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