I have always been a fan of history. As part of my Civil War studies, I have had occasion to review the medical records produced by Union Army surgeons. They would work all day amputating limbs. Terrible work, often performed in the intense heat and the frigid cold in tents. These unsung heroes, after a very long day had to then record their deeds. The charts were unusually well written, demonstrating a remarkable memory. No OSHA, no HIPAA, no CDC. But it got done, and for the time, it got done well. No EMR, but the handwriting was usually quite readable if not downright artistic. Yes, there actually were malpractice suits in the 1800s. Abraham Lincoln occasionally sued on behalf of a disgruntled patient. Imagine going up against “Honest Abe” in court!

See you next time,

Larry Kobak, Esq.

Courtesy of Frier Levitt (frierlevitt.com)