Rockefeller Medicine Men : Medicine and Capitalism in America


Rockefeller Medicine Men : Medicine and Capitalism in America



E. Richard Brown. Rockefeller medicine men: medicine and capitalism in America

This book tells the hidden story of the financial, political, and institutional manipulations whereby a diverse and eclectic range of healing modalities available to the North American public was summarily pared down to a singular style of medicine that would become the predominant medicine of the Western world and a major force in global medical culture during the 20th century. This was brought about largely by the collaboration of the American Medical Association, the philanthropies of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, and the development of a revolutionary curriculum by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Brown documents the story of how a powerful professional elite gained virtual hegemony in the Western theatre of healing by effectively taking control of the ethos and practice of Western medicine. E. Richard Brown describes how, in 1905, the American Medical Association’s new Council on Medical Education funded by Carnegie and Rockefeller commenced serious activity. They employed the services of Abraham Flexner who proceeded to visit and “assess” every single medical school in the US and Canada. Within a short time of this development, medical schools all around the US began to collapse or consolidate. By 1910, 30 schools had merged, and 21 had closed their doors. Of the 166 medical schools operating in 1904, 133 had survived by 1910, and 104 by 1915. Fifteen years later, only 76 schools of medicine existed in the US. And they all followed the same curriculum. Brown shows how both social and political processes were consciously manipulated by a medical elite acting in concert with immense corporate wealth to create a system of medicine that better served economic and hegemonic intentions than social or humanitarian needs. -- Goodreads review



Publication Date



University of California Press




Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, history of medicine, medical charities


The Rockefeller University Library 3rd Floor Special Collections WX 28 R682 1979

Rockefeller Medicine Men : Medicine and Capitalism in America