Take a trip on Marketplace and visit City Hall, The Print Shop, The Surgical Amphitheater, The home of George Guild, the Oculist
Philadelphia: The Birthplace of Healthcare
How did Benjamin Franklin help launch the pharmaceutical industry? How did Philip Physick, who invented dozens of early surgical instruments, also invent an economic instrument that enabled surgeons to get paid? And how did an idealistic eye doctor at the turn of the century help launch what's now a multi-billion dollar screening industry?
Early Philadelphians transformed the money side of health care. It's too fantastic a story to bring you with radio alone -- so health care reporter Gregory Warner and intern Mara Zepeda corralled Philadelphia artists, actors, historians, botanists and puppeteers to help tell the tale. More Marketplace Money Philadelphia coverage »
Hear this story how Dr. Physick influenced medicine. The first cataract operation in America, first stomach pump in America, first human blood transfusion, double mastectomies, funded indigent care by selling tickets for the public to watch surgeries. (A new business model ).
He offered a prepaid plan for $20.00 a month. He became the richest doctor in Philadelphia.
1900. Atlantic City. The American Medical Association — 50 years old at the time — meets for its annual conference. There, a Philadelphia eye doctor named George M. Gould sells doctors on a new idea: patients with no symptoms coming into the doctor's office once a year for a full-body check up. The "annual physical exam" redefines the doctor's role from one who treats the sick, to one who watches over you when well. "It is in catching sight of the earliest indications of disease, the symptom of the symptom," Gould tells the crowd. "That's where progress lies."
Hear about the birth of the annual physical