Dr. Lindeman talks about early medicine

This article submitted by Erin Aagesen on 3/8/00.

Dr. Lindeman When Dr. Ray Lindeman retired from medical practice in 1994, the clinic staff gave him 3,600 penniesŠone for every baby he had delivered in his 45 years in the Paynesville area. In those years, Lindeman witnessed drastic changes in the medical profession. He has seen the shift from bedside diagnosis to highly technical tests, improvements in surgical techniques, and increased costs of medical care.

Dr. Lindeman (standing) talks with some of the audience at his presentation about the history of medicine.

Lindeman discussed this and more in an hour-long presentation at the Paynesville Area Center on March 1. The program was sponsored by the Paynesville Historical Society and covered the history of medicine, Lindeman's personal experiences, and the possibilities for the future of medicine.

The main focus of the talk was on early medicine. Lindeman explained how the lifestyles and attitudes of human beings have shaped medical practice throughout history. The shift from the hunter/gatherer mode of living to the agricultural life brought many diseases. Groups of people began to colonize together at this time, which caused diseases to spread much more rapidly through rodents and polluted water sources.

Eventually, groups of people would develop immunities to certain diseases; however, they were dangerous to people from other areas who sometimes traveled to trade or conquer land.

Treatment for diseases has evolved over the years as well. Much of it was influenced by religion. Many treatments dealt with the connection between body and soulŠa connection that has recently been researched more seriously.

Money also played a part in what kind of treatment patients could receive. Often, the wealthy and powerful were given preference for treatments. This caused alternative cult-like medical practices to spring up out of need. "Throughout history, there have been doctors whose work has run strong, based on facts, but there's always been the alternative there, too," explained Lindeman.

Lindeman handed out a list of 100 medical milestones: the theory of germs in 1857, the discovery of penicillin in 1928, and cloning in 1997. Still, in his opinion, the most significant milestone was left off the list. It was the implementation of Medicare in 1966. He explained that this caused a financial relief for both physicians and patients.

He talked of the future of medicine as well, citing such possibilities as cloning organs and curing diseases such as cancer.

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