Chapter

Maximalist Medicine at Walter Reed

in War's Waste

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780226482538
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226482552 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226482552.003.0005
Maximalist Medicine at Walter Reed

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This chapter reports that rehabilitation played a role in the shaping of the modern American hospital. Leo Mayer and other like-minded rehabilitation advocates supported state medicine rather than state pensions. William Borden's most powerful argument for the creation of Walter Reed Hospital was that it would “reduce the pension list.” As Borden showed using the pension system numbers, additional medical services would cost the government less. In addition to the appliance shop, orthopedists at Walter Reed and Letterman General Hospitals supervised the construction of physiotherapy buildings, spaces outfitted for hydrotherapy, mechanotherapy, electrotherapy, massage, and exercise. The most crucial part of making these rehabilitation hospitals was the introduction of “curative workshops.” In general, rehabilitation hospitals such as Walter Reed and Letterman tried to decrease long-term involvement of the government in the veterans' everyday life through medicine.

Keywords: rehabilitation; modern American hospital; medicine; Walter Reed Hospital; Letterman General Hospital; Leo Mayer; William Borden; government

Chapter.  7176 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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