Bloodletting and Germs

Bloodletting and Germs book cover.

Husband, Father, Doctor and WNY Citizen

Thomas Rosenthal

Thomas Rosenthal headshot.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Noon-1 p.m. EST

The webinar will describe the evidence supporting Dr. Rosenthal’s recently published book about Jabez Allen MD, a founding subscriber to the University at Buffalo, who practiced in East Aurora from 1834 to 1885. In 1834, as a new medical college graduate, Dr. Allen was heading west to seek his future when a one night stay at the Globe Hotel led to his caring for a dying child. Mutual endearment between village and doctor quickly led to a lifetime of dedication, quickly frustrated when competition in the Erie County Medical Society resulted in tabling of his license application. In 1834 druggists needed no license, so Dr. Allen converts his newly opened office into a drugstore that conceals his medical practice and soon marries an attractive village socialite who proves to be his bookish equal and an committed abolitionist. Together they confront consumption, anthrax, cholera, the Civil War, melancholia, pandemics, germs, and an intemperate society as evolving science transforms medical practice. Death, spiritualists and quacks test their sympathies as they minister to the poor and wealthy alike, including the daughter of a U.S. president. Dr. Allen never abandons the motto painted on his office window, “No Cure, No Pay.” The drugstore Dr. Allen opened in 1834 still serves the village of East Aurora as Larwood’s Pharmacy. 

About Thomas Rosenthal
Thomas Rosenthal, MD '75, is Emeritus Professor and Chair of Family Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. His practice experience includes urban and rural communities. He authored more than 60 scientific papers, numerous commentaries, a monograph on puzzling physical complaints, and has been honored with local, statewide and national awards in medical education. Dr. Rosenthal also edited the Journal of Rural Health, and the textbook Office Based Geriatrics. His book, Bloodletting and Germshas received a 4.8/5 rating by Goodreads.