Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wednesday Western- Medical costs in the 1800's

One of the books in my western series is Doctor in Petticoats. The heroine is a doctor in a blind school because she can't persuade the medical community in her town to take her seriously as a doctor. But she is highly qualified and jumps at the chance to be the only doctor in a small community when the hero asks her to return to his home town with him.

While I didn't need this information for my story, it is one of those things I researched and now have archived for the day I may want to know.

Here are a few prices for medical procedures and assistance in the 1800’s:
A visit within one mile  —  $1.00
Each succeeding mile — .50
Simple case of midwifery — $5.00
For bleeding — .50
Bullet Wounds — Between $1.00 to 10.00
For setting fracture — $5.00 to 10.00
Amputating Arm — $10.00
Amputating Leg — $20.00
For advice and prescription in office — $1.00
For difficult cases, fee based in proportion to difficulty.

But as was often the case, the doctor accepted goods in lieu of money. And doctors didn't refuse to treat someone because they couldn’t pay.

I'm assuming the $10.00 bullet required more digging and stitching. ;0)

Just thought I'd throw this little bit of trivia out there for those of you who have inquiring minds like myself.


Stephanie said...

Even way back then, medical help was expensive. I'll bet $10 was a huge expense to most people.
Very interesting.

Paty Jager said...

Stephanie, $10 was a large amount for most people back then. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.