Monday, November 30, 2015

Urology in Pre-Civil war Charleston

By Hamilton JN1, Rovner ES, Turner WR., J Urol. 2008 Aug;180(2):477-80. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.04.023. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

With a history spanning more than 3 centuries, Charleston, South Carolina was one of the initial locations of urological teaching in the southern United States. The Medical University of South Carolina was chartered in 1823 and is the oldest medical school in the South. We reviewed the historical archives of the Waring Library of the Medical University of South Carolina, specifically the history of urological practice in the city, including doctoral dissertations from medical school students regarding the teaching and practice of urology in pre-Civil War Charleston, to better understand the early development of the specialty.

We reviewed graduate medical student dissertations from the historical archives of the Medical University of South Carolina from 1824 to 1860. In addition, we accessed and reviewed the records of the Medical Society of South Carolina, The Charleston Medical Journal and Review, and The American Urological Association Centennial History 1902 to 2002 volumes 1 and 2.

These historical documents and dissertations review in depth various medical conditions, diagnoses and treatments in pre-Civil War Charleston. Topics such as urolithiasis, urethral stricture, stone composition and hydrocele are a few of the areas considered. Review of these documents fosters insight into the evolving diagnosis and treatment of several urological conditions. Some treatments such as the use of tobacco for urinary retention have fallen out of favor, while others such as the surgical repair of vesicovaginal fistula are still practiced.

The history of urology in pre-Civil War Charleston and at the Medical University of South Carolina demonstrates an advanced understanding of urological diseases and the technology designed to treat them with a distinctly European influence.


Image: Catheters and sounds from a Tiemann Civil War military urology set


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