American Medicine and Statistical Thinking, 1800-1860
This comprehensive narrative history of early and mid-nineteenth-century American medicine is also an important account of the rapid introduction of statistical methods during the same period. Cassedy illuminates clinical medicine, public health, surgery, and the principal medical-sectarian movements from 1800 to 1860 by examining the varied uses of numerical analysis, not only in hospitals, medical schools, societies, journals, and other medically related institutions, but in private medical practice. In carrying out this study, he thus explores the roots of modern statistical thinking, the extension of data collection activities, the rise of statistical institutions and activities, the emergence of statistical agencies and professionalism, and the remarkable surge of enthusiasm for quantification that spread across the United States during this time. American developments in both medicine and statistics are related to developments in Europe and are placed in the overall setting of American social, economic, and intellectual history.