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Ein Auslaufmodell – Spuren einer ländlichen Heilerpraxis im Zeitalter der Akademisierung

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Weikl Katharina, Ritzmann Iris,
Project Ländliche Heilerpraxis in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Gesnerus - Swiss Journal of the History of Medicine and Sciences
Volume (Issue) 71(2)
Page(s) 76 - 94
Title of proceedings Gesnerus - Swiss Journal of the History of Medicine and Sciences

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


This article deals with a healer’s praxis in a rural Swiss region during the first half of the 19th century. The healer Gottfried Wachter (1776-1861) learned his therapeutic knowledge from his father in the late 18th century as was typical for the period. With the expansion of academic physicians during the first decades of the 19th century the number of non-academic healers decreased. Until the end of his working life, Wachter resisted this trend as one of the last healers in his region. A patient journal of Wachter’s and other economic sources allow us to enter into the questions how this healer praxis tried to survive, which clients requested his therapy, and what kind of challenges the rising academic medicine triggered.