Cardiac Physiology and Clinical Medicine? Two Case Studies

  • Joel D. Howell


During the early twentieth century, orthodox American medicine incorporated the ideas and the ideology of the natural sciences, marking the beginning of a relationship that has continued to the present day. Medical schools started to devote ever-increasing hours to science, particularly physiology, and physicians began to perceive their task as the application of clinical science.1 In this chapter I explore the historical justification for physicians’ perception of physiology as a natural science valuable to medicine. In so doing I focus on the question: When, and how, did practicing American physicians come to see the physiology of the heart as clinically useful?


Medical Practice Massachusetts General Hospital Cardiac Chamber Coronary Care Unit Left Ventricular Filling Pressure 
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© American Physiological Society 1987

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  • Joel D. Howell

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