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Alternative medicine

History of Medicine Introduction The history of medicine tells different stories and different truths depending on the questions we ask and the concerns we raise. That's why there is always something new in the past. This exhibition explores some of the multiple meanings people have found in the history of medicine within the United States. We see how, during the last two hundred years, the history of medicine has been created and used as weapon, as inspiration, as edifice, as politics, as profession, and as today's news. Physicians have used medical history to increase their understanding, to unify their profession, to develop a vision of the future of medicine, and to provide better medical care to their patients. History is like a kaleidoscope.

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History of Medicine The National Library of Medicine (NLM) holds approximately 2,000 volumes of Chinese medical classics. Here we display a few of the earliest and most interesting texts from the NLM collection. Also included are portraits of a few significant figures in early Chinese medicine whose contributions range from acupuncture to the pioneering uses of herbal medicines to the concept of Yin and Yang. Through the exhibit, we hoped to draw attention to a fascinating part of NLM's historical resources. 23 October 2009

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History of Medicine Instruction in Surgery. Five physicians and their colleagues in the surgical amphitheatre of the Massachusetts General Hospital watch as the anesthetist administers ether to a patient who is about to have surgery. This illustration appeared in an 1889 issue of Harper's Weekly . The National Library of Medicine was originally established 150 years ago, in 1836, as the Library of the Army Surgeon General's Office. Perhaps the key event in the library's history occurred in 1865, when Dr. John Shaw Billings became director. For the next 30 years he worked tirelessly to expand the library's holdings and open it as a source of biomedical information for all physicians.

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