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Bear Attacks! Hypothermia! Malaria!

Rejoin Lewis and Clark in this vivid account of the dangers, emergencies, and medical practices encountered during their historic expedition!


The daring Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803 to 1806 is deeply entrenched in America’s collective imagination. The journals of the explorers, as well as numerous books, paintings, TV shows, and movies, have made the story familiar to people of all ages. One dominant part of the three-year adventure that has received little attention, however, has been the medical aspects of the expedition. In Lewis & Clark: Doctors in the Wilderness, Dr. Bruce C. Paton examines early nineteenth-century medical standards and techniques, offering his unique perspective on the expedition that opened the American West. He explores the various medical dilemmas the expedition party encountered, including malnutrition and disease epidemics, and discusses the exchange of health care for food and horses that occurred between Lewis and Clark and Native Americans.


Dr. Paton also examines the preparations made for the journey, the medical advice received by Meriwether Lewis, and the medications and medical supplies he took to deal with the problems ahead. A book for every reader, Lewis & Clark describes in nontechnical language the state of medical knowledge in 1800 and helps us to understand how, despite limited knowledge and medications that were mostly ineffective, the famous expedition succeeded with so few medical disasters.

Lewis and Clark: Doctors in the Wilderness


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