How To Keep The Doctor Away

At the dawn of the 20th century, the roster of illnesses that spelled almost inevitable death seemed to stretch forever. Cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, cirrhosis, pneumonia, cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosis and even the flu were relentless killers. Some victims might hang on to eke out a normal life span, albeit in disability and pain; some might even recover entirely. But survival was purely a crapshoot, with depressingly unfavorable odds. The hospital was a place where people went to die, not to be cured.

Today the medical landscape has been transformed beyond recognition. The drugs are smarter, the surgical tools more...

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