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Medicine- Practice and Social Attitudes Essay (Critical Writing)

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It is impossible to imagine the modern world without medicine and its achievements. It is so because the health care industry provides individuals with numerous opportunities for how to solve their health problems. However, it is necessary to mention that people also influence medicine both positively and negatively. Thus, the principal purpose of this paper is to explain that it is impossible for the practice and science of medicine to be totally objective and completely removed from social attitudes.

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Firstly, it is so because the health care industry is inseparably associated with the development of society. If the world experiences some essential changes, they will inevitably address medicine. Warner and Tighe (2001) show that American medicine was significantly influenced in the early 20th century when the United States entered the era of “continuing industrialization, open immigration policy, and urban expansion” (p. 317). Thus, the new world order denoted that medical scientists and practitioners should have contributed to solving existing problems. At that time, medical experts were forced to address various medical issues under social pressure. For example, Dr. Abbott explains that inebriety is a disease that is “produced by vice and leads to crime” (Warner & Tighe, 2001, p. 319). The difficulties existed because people who drank alcohol to excess had been considered sinners who had not deserved treatment.

Secondly, an opinion concerning the role of women in society also impacted the health care system. It refers to the fact that back in the early 20th century, female individuals were only responsible for bringing up their children and managing a household. Since the American community significantly limited the potential of women, it was appropriately reflected in medicine. This fact explains the presence of numerous works and articles dedicated to mothers and wives. For example, Warner and Tighe (2001) demonstrate how medical experts expressed their opinions concerning childrearing, feeding, and education. Thus, the article in the women’s magazine Modern Priscilla shows that some social attitudes can indicate the main focus of medical science at a particular moment.

Thirdly, the advertisement of a Pulmotor is another example of how society and its separate members can affect the health care industry. The given technological device is essential and necessary for every hospital because it can save the lives of acute patients. It is supported by the words that “for a hospital not to have a Pulmotor will soon be regarded as reprehensible negligence approximating malpractices” (Warner & Tighe, 2001, p. 261). This marketing hook demonstrates that the individuals or bodies that were connected to the production and sale of Pulmotors tried to influence the health care industry. As a result, patients did not want to come to hospitals that did not have such devices. Consequently, medicine was required to meet those social attitudes to provide care to patients.

In conclusion, it has been shown that the practice and science of medicine are in close connection with the existing social attitudes. When a community is experiencing a new period in its history, the health care industry should correspond to them. Furthermore, social roles are another significant element that shapes medicine. As has been discussed, when women were only responsible for childrearing, a more substantial part of scientific work was dedicated to this topic. Finally, marketing and commerce can also make the health care industry meet their requirements. Consequently, medicine is an integral element of a community, and it is in close connection with all its parts.


Warner, J. H., & Tighe, J. A. (2001). Major problems in the history of American medicine and public health: Documents and essays. Houghton Mifflin.

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