Review: Jews in Medicine

Ilka Gordon AJL News and Reviews

Jews in Medicine is a very interesting and readable discussion of the history of Jews in medicine and Jewish physicians. The book begins with the physicians and medical theories of the Talmudic era and ends with contemporary physicians both living and deceased. The first six chapters are divided by geographical location and period: for example, physicians in Christian lands, Spain, Italy, Provence, and Turkey during the Gaonic period and before and after the expulsion from Spain. There is also a brief discussion of the rise of independent Jewish hospitals in the United States (once 113 and now only 22) and the reason for their decline.

The remainder of the book consists of short biographies and photographs of physicians in the modern era, from the nineteenth to twentieth century. This section is divided by specialties, for example surgery, radiation oncology, cardiology, and dermatology. The physicians listed in the last section were Zionists and contributed to the medical community in the State of Israel. The book includes a short bibliography and an alphabetical index of names.

Written in a non-technical and highly readable style, Jews in Medicine is recommended for synagogue and school libraries, as well as for patrons interested in Jewish history.

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