Lead


Lay summary
This project examines the medical practice of Caesar Adolph Bloesch(1804-1863), physician in the city of Biel in Switzerland. It is basedon his exceptional 25,000-pages casebooks in which he recorded all hisconsultations conducted in the years 1832-1863. The patient recordscontain information on the patients, the patient history, Bloesch'sexamination and therapy. At the beginning of the project a fulltranscription of the volumes of selected years will be available as wellas the general data of the consultations of all years and the data oftwo census of Biel from the period of interest. In addition to the casebooks, Bloesch's extensive notes and publications and further privateand official sources will be used.Despite the efforts of the social history of medicine we are stillinsufficiently informed about the daily medical life of earlier times.This much is true also for the medical practice as the central place ofinteraction between physician and patient, which could tell us a lotabout significant social structures and developments. The project isbased on the general concept of one single medical culture whichphysicians as well patients helped to shape. In consists of twocomplementary studies on the practice form the physician's and thepatients' point of view based on a quantitative as well as aqualitative, a socio-historical as well as a cultural-historicalapproach. They will investigate the structure and importance of themedical practice and the attitudes, roles and behaviours of both actorsin order to improve our knowledge of medical culture and itstransformation in the 19th century.The project is part of a German-Swiss-Austrian working group focussingon the investigation of medical practices from the 17th to the 20thcentury. As each practice is different a special emphasis is laid oncomparison and comparability. Thanks to a rich variety of sources itwill be possible to allow for the specific local conditions and thus toreach conclusions of significance beyond the case in hand.