A New Age of American Medicine.
The year 1940 marked the beginning of a new period in American medicine. The demands of the impending world war brought about a great coordination of financing and teamwork in medical research and development. The biomedicai sciences had developed rapidly during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The war effort combined these medical advances with new technical and research capabilities. During World War II research efforts produced the miracle drugs penicillin and the sulfonamides, the insecticide DDT, new medical technology based on radioactive by-products of the atomic bomb, better vaccines, and improved hygienic measures. Disability from venereal disease was dramatically altered by new methods of treatment with the new drugs. The increased availability of blood and plasma for transfusions led to dramatic progress in surgery during the decade. Wartime attention to mental-health issues in the military brought about an enhanced public image of psychiatry. During the decade psychiatry made a marked shift away from rural-based institutions warehousing the mentally disabled to a more proactive treatment of mental illness.
Medicine and the Federal Government.
The year 1940 also marked the beginning of a new era in the relationship of the federal government to medical research and development....
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