An End to ‘Adolescence’

  • Roger Cooter
Part of the Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History book series (STMMH)


With its focus on the elderly and its identification with the highly skilled and radically invasive surgical operation for total hip replacement, orthopaedics today stands poles apart from the specialism of the interwar period. No longer do multitudes of disabled soldiers, crippled children and industrial workers constitute its clinical mainstay,1 and no longer do rural open-air hospitals and low-status outpatient departments serve as its principal work sites. The ‘mature’ specialism, with premises at the glamorous surgical centre of hospital medicine, embodies a very different set of social relations and professional interests. Of these, the greater kudos, security and income of its practitioners are signs and symbols.2


Orthopaedic Surgeon Medical Curriculum Interwar Period Orthopaedic Specialization Voluntary Hospital 
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Copyright information

© Roger Cooter 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Cooter
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellcome Unit for the History of MedicineUniversity of ManchesterUK

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