On the western frontier, most of the doctors had very little medical training. Some of the men that did the doctoring were dentists, barbers and veterinarians. They did their best with what knowledge they possessed. In today’s world, the emergency medical technicians, most commonly called EMTs, have more training than the doctors of the 1800s or even over into the early 1900s. The doctors of the late 1800s knew how to do very simple surgery, dig for bullets, sew up cuts and to maybe set broken bones, and treat very little of the diseases that confronted them. Their medical knowledge of medicine to give to people was very limited, to say the least, but the doctors were valued in any community. The stories told in this novel were told to me by Doctor Mullins. In 1961, Doc was ninety years old and had quit practicing medicine at the time. In his early years, he had treated people in the late 1800s and for his pay had received barter goods more times than money. The doctors of old at times didn’t make enough money to buy medicine to replace what they used and had to resort to trading what they received as payment for money or other means.
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