The Cape Doctor in the Nineteenth Century

A Social History


The Cape Doctor is a social history of medicine, which places formal Western medicine within its political, social and economic context. The work shows the way in which the Cape medical profession excluded all but a few women and black practitioners, and discriminated along lines of race, class and gender in their practice. It revises traditional whiggish and linear accounts of professional advancement, but it also moves beyond the classic revisionist tradition, which documents the emergence of a society divided along lines of race and gender, by providing examples of cultural crossover and medical pluralism. It also provides a perspective on a broad historical process within which to understand present debates about the most appropriate health policies in South Africa today.
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EUR €45.00USD $61.00

Review Quotes

”This collection provides a wide-ranging, sophisticated, and well-crafted overview of the development of the South African doctor.”
- in: Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 80, 2006

“…a book rich in interest, well written and edited. It provides important insights…”
- in: The Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2005

“…an enjoyable read, evenly written and edited. The narrative flows smoothly, and the smaller arguments and case studies are concise, detailed, and always linked to the overall themes of the book.”
- in: Wellcome History, Issue 30, Autumn 2005

“The collection not only offers a glimpse into some of the conditions that led to South Africa’s current medical system, but also establishes a foundation for future research.” in: “…well researched…”
– Tiffany F. Jones, Kingston, Ont., in: H-Safrica, March, 2005

“…this long-awaited and excellent addition […] blows away many of the traditional, whiggish historical accounts of medical professionalization whilst clarifying our understanding of the evolution of health policies and practices […] a valuable text for medical, social, and political historians.” - in: The Social History of Medicine, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2005

"The Cape Doctor is well researched and provides a wealth of data on a large variety of medical-historical topics, inter alia, the origins of the Somerset and other early hospitals, medical associations, the South African Medical Journal, and Cape medical education. The authors are to be commended on a project well done."
– Professor Dan J. Ncayiyana, Editor, South African Medical Journal, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Figures
Note on Contributors
Note on Terminology

1 Harriet DEACON: Introduction: The Cape Doctor in the Nineteenth Century
2 Harriet DEACON: The Cape Doctor and the Broader Medical Market, 1800-1850
3 Harriet DEACON: Medical Gentlemen and the Process of Professionalisation before 1860
4 Howard PHILLIPS: Home Taught for Abroad: The Training of the Cape Doctor, 1807-1910
5 Harriet DEACON and Elizabeth van HEYNINGEN: Opportunities Outside Private Practice before 1860
6 Elizabeth van HEYNINGEN: Medical Practice in the Eastern Cape
7 Elizabeth van HEYNINGEN: ‘Regularly Licensed and Properly Educated Practitioners’ Professionalisation 1860-1910
8 Harriet DEACON, Elizabeth van HEYNINGEN, Sally SWARTZ and Felicity SWANSON: Mineral Wealth and Medical Opportunity
9 Anne DIGBY: Making a Medical Living: The Economics of Medical Practice in the Cape c. 1860-1910
10 Howard PHILLIPS: The Cape Doctor 1807-1910: Perspectives

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