Healthcare – Nursing – Public Health – History of Medicine

Healthcare, Medical Books, Nursing books, Pharmaceuticals, U.S. Healthcare system, History of Medicine, Public Health Policy.

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

Century Past Library



Medical Texts and Reference Books

U.S. Healthcare System

History of Medicine


Medical Texts and Reference Books

Medical Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Medical”. Be patient as the page loads.

Internal Medicine Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Internal Medicine”. Be patient as the page loads.

Preventive Medicine Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Preventive Medicine”. Be patient as the page loads.

Diseases Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Diseases – General”. Be patient as the page loads.

Physiology Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Physiology”. Be patient as the page loads.

Nursing Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Nursing”. Be patient as the page loads.

Psychiatry Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Psychiatry”. Be patient as the page loads.

Pharmacology Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Pharmacology”. Be patient as the page loads.

Nonprescription Drugs Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Drugs – Nonprescription”. Be patient as the page loads.

The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation

Asimov, Isaac
Mentor 1992 Dewey Dec. 612


Human Body

Dorling Kindersley Co.
Dorling Kindersley 2001 Dewey Dec. 612

An illustrated guide to every part of the human body and how it works.

Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique

Gazzaniga, Michael S.
Ecco 2008 Dewey Dec. 612

“A savvy, witty guide to neuroscience today” Kirkus

An Anatomy of Thought: the Origin and Machinery of the Mind

Glynn, Ian
Wiedenfeld & Nicolson 1999 Dewey Dec. 612

“A summary of what we know about the brain – both its evolution and its mechanisms. Among the topics he covers are natural selection, molecular evolution, nerves and the nervous system, sensory perception, and the specific structures responsible for our intellect” Libr J

Gray’s Anatomy

Gray, Henry
Running Press 1974 Dewey Dec. 612

“The illustrated Running Press edition of the American classic Gray’s anatomy”–Cover.

Senescence; The Last Half of Life

Hall, Granville Stanley
Appleton 1922 Dewey Dec. 612

Presents “the subjects of Old Age and Death from as many viewpoints as possible in order to show how the ignorant and the learned, the child, the adult, and the old, savage and civilized man, pagans and Christians, the ancient and the modern world, the representatives of various sciences, different individuals have viewed these problems, letting each class. . . speak for itself.”
– Foreword
“Rich in scholarship and personal experience, is a comprehensive review of the sum of human knowledge on this subject. . . All students of human nature will feel that this text is the gift of a mature mind to those who would struggle wisely to meet the problems of advancing age.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931)

The Human Mechanism

Hough, Theodore and Sedgwick, William T.
Ginn 1918 Dewey Dec. 612

Subtitle: “Its physiology and hygiene and the sanitation of its surrounding”.
“A standard work covering physiology, hygiene and sanitation.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931)

Engines of the Human Body

Keith, Sir Arthur
Lippincott 1919 Dewey Dec. 612

“An admirable book about human structure and physiology. It is the substance, revised and arranged to form a book, of one of those famous series of Christmas Lectures to popular audiences which the Royal Institution of Great Britain arranges to have given each year by British scientific men of high authority. All of us want to and ought to know as much as we can about our own bodily make-up and the way our bodies perform the necessary life-functions. This book is crammed full of interesting facts, and gives one a point of view about the human body which will be new to many readers.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931)

The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing & Allied Health, Vol. 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Volume 5

Longe, Jacqueline L., ed.
Thomson Gale 2006        Dewey Dec.    610

In the fully updated second edition of this award-winning title, nearly 900 alphabetically arranged entries cover topics in body systems and functions, conditions and common diseases, issues and theories, techniques and practices, and devices and equipment. The Encyclopedia covers all major health professions, including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and more.

Practical Nursing; A Text-book for Nurses

Maxwell, Anna Caroline and Pope, Amy Elizabeth
Putnam 1914 Dewey Dec. 610

Describes “the procedures used in the general care of patients and the giving of treatments in a manner to facilitate class instruction- nevertheless, items of procedures, and procedures as a whole, which cannot well be shown in class are also described and special stress is made on details that will enhance a patient’s comfort.”
– Preface to fourth edition

Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing

C.V. Mosby Co.
1969 Dewey Dec. 610

“This book is intended to be a study outline for those nurses, student and graduate, who wish a clear, authoritative summary of the subjects taught in the basic course in nursing.” Preface to 1st edition.

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary

C.V. Mosby Co.
Mosby 2009 Dewey Dec. 610

Color atlas of human anatomy — Skeletal system — Muscular system — Circulatory system — Endocrine system — Lymphatic system — Nervous system — Respiratory system — Digestive system — Reproductive system — Urinary system — Special senses — Vocabulary

The Cambridge Dictionary of Human Biology and Evolution

Mai, Larry L. et al.
Cambridge Univ. 2005 Dewey Dec. 612

“The Cambridge Dictionary of Human Biology and Evolution (CDHBE) is an invaluable research and study tool for both professionals and students covering a broad range of subjects within human biology, physical anthropology, anatomy, auxology, primatology, physiology, genetics, paleontology and zoology.”–Jacket

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Marieb, Elaine N. and Hoehn, Katja
Pearson 2013 Dewey Dec. 612

Textbook, 1,200+ pages.

The Clock of Ages: Why We Age– How We Age– Winding Back the Clock

Medina, John
Cambridge Univ 1996 Dewey Dec. 612

“This is the best biology book written for the lay public to appear in many years.” Libr J.
Who ages? — A slippery overarching definition — Humanizing aging and death — Why age at all — How do we age? — How the skin and hair age — The aging of bones, muscles and joints — The aging of the brain — How the heart ages — The aging of the lungs — What happens to the digestion — How the senses age — The aging of the reproductive system — Why do we age? — A tale of two theories — Error accumulation — Programmed death — Winding back the clock

Molecules of Emotion: Why you Feel the Way you Feel

Pert, Candace B.
Scribner 1997 Dewey Dec. 612

The author “has been at the forefront of key discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and AIDS therapy, and was intimately involved in the discovery of the brain’s opiate receptors in 1972. Her memoir describes some of her breakthroughs while providing very real insight into the processes and politics at the core of modern science… This is an important look at what really goes on inside the human body – and inside the scientific elite.” Publ Wkly


U.S. Healthcare System

Healthcare Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Healthcare”. Be patient as the page loads.

Cost of Medical Care Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Medical Care – Cost of”. Be patient as the page loads.

U.S. Medical Policy Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Medical Policy – United States”. Be patient as the page loads.

Medicare Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Medicare”. Be patient as the page loads.

Medical Personnel Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Medical Personnel”. Be patient as the page loads.

Hospitals Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Hospitals”. Be patient as the page loads.

Taming the Beloved Beast: How Medical Technology Costs are Destroying our Health Care System

Taming the Beloved Beast Book Cover

Callahan, Daniel
Princeton Univ. 2009        Dewey Dec.    338.4

“While bringing insightful ethical, social, political, and economic perspectives to this timely, well-documented discourse of the ballooning costs of American health care and Medicare, Callahan concentrates on the growing costs of medical technology, which, along with uncontrolled governmental health-care spending, threaten to drag this country into financial crisis.” -Libr J.

The Pharmaceutical Industry

The Pharmaceutical Industry Book Cover

Carroll, Jamuna
Greenhaven 2009        Dewey Dec.    338.4

A volume in the “Opposing Viewpoints” series, with several contributed essays in each chapter representing various points of view.
Contents: Is Pharmaceutical Research Safe and Unbiased? – Are Prescription Drugs Appropriately Regulated? – Are Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices Ethical? – Is the Cost of Prescription Drugs in America Appropriate?

Health Security for All

Derickson, Alan
Johns Hopkins University 2005 Dewey Dec. 610

Topics: Health systems & services, Right to health care, History, Health Care Delivery, Medical / Nursing, Public Policy – General, Medical, USA, Insurance, Health, Health Policy, Medical / Ethics, Government policy, United States, Constitutions, Ethics, Health services accessibility.

Dangerous Doses: A True Story of Cops, Counterfeiters, and the Contamination of America’s Drug Supply

Dangerous Doses Book Cover

Eban, Katherine
Harvest 2006        Dewey Dec.    363.1

“The author documents the flaws in the U.S. drug-distribution system that too often result in Americans getting diluted and contaminated drugs … She details in particular the dramatic workings of Operation Stone Cold in Florida, assigned to investigate trafficking in counterfeit drugs. This riveting page-turner provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at drug sales and distribution.” -Booklist

Medicine: Opposing Viewpoints

Egendorf, Laura K.
Greenhaven 2002 Dewey Dec. 610

What problems confront American medicine? – Is alternative medicine effective? – Are new medical technologies beneficial? – What is the future of medicine?

Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health

Betrayal of Trust Book Cover

Garrett, Laurie
Hyperion 2000        Dewey Dec.    362.1

This book examines contemporary health systems in the former Soviet Union, India, central Africa, and the U.S.
Contents: Filth and decay: Pneumonic plague hits India and the world ill responds — Landa-Landa: an Ebola virus epidemic in Zaire proves public health is imperiled by corruption — Bourgeois physiology: the collapse of all semblances of public health in the former Soviet Socialist Republics — Preferring anarchy and class disparity: the American public health infrastructure in an age of anti-governmentalism — Bio-war : threatening biological terrorism and public health — Epilogue: the changing face of public health and future global prophylaxis.

Health Care Half-truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality

Health Care Half Truths Book Cover

Garson, Arthur and Engelhard, Carolyn L.
Rowman & Littlefield 2007        Dewey Dec.    362.1

“How exhilarating it is to read a book on health care policy that dispels delusions – that prevention always saves money, that we can stop growth of health care spending without rationing, that doctors always know what they are doing, that the uninsured and poor always get at least emergency care, and the biggest delusion of all: that there is no politically achievable way to extend health insurance coverage to all Americans.” -Henry Aaron, Brookings Inst.

And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life

And a Time to Die Book Cover

Kaufman, Sharon R.
Scribner 2005        Dewey Dec.    362.1

“The author ‘reveals the dilemmas of hospital deth in America today; the shift to patients’ control of decision making despite the doctors’ greater knowledge; the ethics and practical effects of resuscitation versus pain relief … This deeply probing study lays bare the cultural and institutional assumptions and rhetoric that frame our search for ‘a good death.” -Pub Wkly

A Not Entirely Benign Procedure: Four Years as a Medical Student

Klass, Perri
Plume 1994 Dewey Dec. 610

“Unflinching honesty … Perri Klas invites us to experience medicine’s initiation rites, laws and inner workings from the border of first-year medical school to the very heart of the realm” Newsday.

Just a Nurse: From Clinic to Hospital Ward, Battleground to Cancer Unit: The Hearts and Minds of Nurses Today

Kraegel, Janet M. and Kachoyeanos, Mary
Dell 1990 Dewey Dec. 610

“The voices of America’s nurses–in burn units, cancer and AIDS wards, prisons, children’s hospices, and delivery rooms.”

The Truth about Health Care: Why Reform is Not Working in America

The Truth about Health Care Book Cover

Mechanic, David
Rutgers Univ. 2006        Dewey Dec.    338.4

“An important read for lay persons, clinicians, and policy makers interested in a comprehensive, nonpartisan assessment of the problems with our health care system and a discussion of feasible changes that could dramaticaly improve the quality and efficiency of health care in the U.S.” -Paul D. Cleary, PhD.

The American Way of Death Revisited

The American Way of Death Revisited Book Cover

Mitford, Jessica
Vintage 2000        Dewey Dec.    338.4

“Very interesting, informative, and easy to read, this book is written with wit, solid information, and refreshing bluntness.” -Libr J.

A Second Opinion: Rescuing America’s Healthcare: A Plan for Universal Coverage Serving Patients Over Profit

A Second Opinion Book Cover

Relman, Arnold S.
PublicAffairs 2010        Dewey Dec.    362.1

“The author’s call to reform America’s profit-driven health-care system, which fails to cover a large segment of the population.” -Libr J.

Health Care Policy and Politics A to Z

Health Care Policy and Politics A to Z Book Cover

Rovner, Julie
CQ 2003        Dewey Dec.    362.1

This reference book explores changes made in the nation’s health system by the private sector, Congress, federal and state courts, and state legislatures. Entries cover such topics as prescription drug benefits, key programs and agencies, committees and organizations, statistics, and the history and background shaping major health policies.

Morphine, Ice cream, Tears: Tales of a City Hospital

Sacco, Joseph, M.D.
Morrow 1989 Dewey Dec. 610

“Joe Sacco became a doctor because of an earnest desire to help his fellowman. In this moving, terrifying, and often hilarious book he tells how his residency in a city hospital nearly ground his high principles into dust. Bone-weary from endless hours of duty, aghast at the treatment of helpless patients, Dr. Sacco saw his enthusiasm turn to cynicism. He started to write down the pathos and greed, humor and horror that surrounded him.” From the book cover.

The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World’s Poorest Patients

The Body Hunters Book Cover

Shah, Sonia
New Press 2006        Dewey Dec.    362.1

“The Body Hunters recounts the way the multinational pharmaceutical industry, in its quest to develop lucrative drugs, has begun quietly exporting its clinical research business to the developing world, where ethical oversight is minimal and desperate patients abound… “Based on several years of original research and reporting from Africa and Asia, The Body Hunters is a damning indictment of a new realm in the exploitation of the world’s poor. Tracing the checkered history of Western medical science in poor countries, it lays bare the impossible choice being faced by many patients in the developing world: be experimented upon or die for lack of medicine.” – Publisher

Getting What We Deserve: Health and Medical Care in America

Getting What We Deserve Book Cover

Sommer, Alfred
Johns Hopkins Univ. 2009        Dewey Dec.    362.1

“Opposing what we’ve been led to believe about the health-care situation in the United States, the author posits that there’s less complexity than meets the eye and that solutions are possible … Sommer keeps it short and clear, with plenty of understandable graphs and charts. His commonsense points will interest consumers trying to understand the ongoing debate as well as policymakers.” -Libr J.

The Social Transformation of American Medicine

Starr, Paul
Basic 1982 Dewey Dec. 610

“The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry”. – book cover.

The Insanity Offense: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers its Citizens

The Insanity Offense Book Cover

Torrey, E. Fuller
Norton 2008        Dewey Dec.    362.1

“Released en masse from institutions beginning in the 1960s, the most severely ill are most likely to become homeless, incarcerated, victimized, and/or violent… Chilling and well documented, this text has many no-nonsense solutions to protect the mentally ill themselves as well as society as a whole.” -Pub Wkly

Oriental Medicine: An Illustrated Guide to the Asian Arts of Healing

Van Alphen, Jan and Aris, Anthony, eds.
Shambhala 1996 Dewey Dec. 610

“This is the first book to introduce a general readership to the medical traditions of Asia from the perspective of both Western scholars and traditional health practitioners.”
The world of Indian medicine — The world of Tibetan medicine — The world of Chinese medicine — Appendix: Three health deities of Asia.

Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself, and the Consequences for your Health and our Medical Future

Deadly Monopolies Book Cover

Washington, Harriet A.
Doubleday 2011        Dewey Dec.    338.4

“Extensively documented with minimal scientific jargon, this book is recommended for any reader interested in the future of our health system.” -Libr J.

History of Medicine

History of Medicine Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “History of Medicine”. Be patient as the page loads.

“Send Us a Lady Physician”: Women Doctors in America, 1835-1920

Abram, Ruth J.
Norton 1985 Dewey Dec. 610

“In the latter part of the 19th century, women, who had hitherto been barred from medical schools, were gradually granted the freedom to study and practice medicine. Indeed, by 1900, over 7,000 female physicians were practicing in America…. Women established thriving private practices, occupied leadership positions in various medical institutions, served as professors and deans in medical schools for women, and were members and officers of medical societies. Their future in medicine seemed assured. Yet by 1920 the number of women doctors had plummeted. New barriers inhibited their entry into medicine and created obstacles in the careers of established women doctors. Not until the 1970s would America’s women physicians recoup their 19th-century gains.” Book cover.

Medical Firsts: From Hippocrates to the Human Genome

Adler, Robert E.
Wiley & Sons 2004 Dewey Dec. 610

Hippocrates: a principle and a method — Herophilus and Erasistratus — Marcus Varro — Dioscorides: the herb man of Anazarbus — Soranus: the birthing doctor — Galen of Pergamon — The enlightened mind of Abu Bakr al-Razi — Ibn Bal-nafis, Glen’s nemesis — Fracastoro: the poet of pestilence — Paracelsus, renaissance rebel — Andreas Vesalius, driven to dissection — Ambroise Pare — Johann Weyer–a voice of sanity in an insane world — William Harvey and the movements of the heart — Edward Jenner — the discovery of anesthesia — Antisepsis: awakening from a nightmare — The quiet Dr. Snow — Pasteur and the germ theory of disease — Roentgen discovers x-rays — Sigmund Freud’s dynamic unconscious — Beyond bacteria: Ivanovsky’s discovery of viruses — The prepared mind of Alexander Fleming — Margaret Sanger and the pill –Organ transplantation — the birth of in vitro fertilization — Humanity eradicates a disease–smallpox– Cannibals, kuru and mad cows: a new kind of plague — deciphering the immune system — cracking the human genome — Into the future

The Devil’s Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science

Ball, Philip
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2006 Dewey Dec. 610

“Illuminates the life of alchemist, physician, theologian and astrologer Paracelsus (1493-1541), placing him … in the context of the Reformation.” Libr J

Hope in Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders

Bortolotti, Dan
Firefly 2006 Dewey Dec. 610

“An often harrowing account of the men and women who struggle to improve the lives of people in desperate need. The humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders (also known as Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF) delivers emergency aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and those who lack reliable health care. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer doctors, nurses, and other professionals join locally-hired staff to provide medical aid in more than eighty countries. This book follows these volunteers as they risk their health and lives to treat patients in need.” Publisher.

Science of Medicine

Bedeschi, Giulio
F. Watts 1975 Dewey Dec. 610

Discusses the history of medical science and the increasingly advanced medical technology used to search for cures and treat disease.

History of American Red Cross Nursing

Dock, Lavinia L. & others
Macmillan 1922 Dewey Dec. 610

“One phase of American nursing history— that of the organization and development of the nursing service of the American Red Cross— has been gathered in elaborate detail in. . . an official volume. . . The book follows the Red Cross nurses in the Spanish war, the world war, the foreign emergency relief program, the post-war developments in rural and public health nursing and educational work in which the Red Cross has played an active part.” Survey.
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931)

From Humors to Medical Science: A History of American Medicine

Duffy, John
University of Illinois 1993 Dewey Dec. 610

Beginnings of American medicine — Eighteenth century — Medical profession — Medicine in the revolutionary years — Early nineteenth-century medicine — Irregulars and domestic medicine — Foundations of American surgery — Early leaders in medicine and surgery — Education, licensing and status of physicians — Medicine in the Civil War — Emergence of modern medicine — Flowering of surgery — Medical education — Medical profession organizes — Advancing front of medicine — Surgery and medical technology since World War I — Medical education since the Flexner report — Women in medicine — Minorities in medicine — Medical profession in the twentieth century — Community’s health — Whither medicine?

Medicine’s 10 Greatest Discoveries

Friedman, Meyer and Friedland, Gerald W.
Yale Univ. 1998 Dewey Dec. 610

Andreas Vesalius and modern human anatomy — William Harvey and the circulation of blood — Antony Leeuwenhock and bacteria — Edward Jenner and vaccination — Crawford Long and surgical anesthesia — Wilhelm Roentgen and the x-ray beam — Ross Harrison and tissue culture — Nikolai Anichkov and cholesterol — Alexander Fleming and antibiotics — Maurice Wilkins and DNA — Concluding thoughts.

The History Of Medicine: The Middle Ages, 500-1450

Kelly, Kate
Facts on File 2009 Dewey Dec. 610

Medical beliefs in Medieval times – Medieval healers and hospitals – Diagnosis and treatment methods – Surgery in the Middle Ages – Women practitioners and what was known about women’s health – Public health in the Middle Ages – Terrifying illnesses of Medieval times – The golden age of Islamic medicine

History of Medicine (vol 1)

Neuburger, Dr. Max
1910 Dewey Dec. 610


History of Medicine (vol 2 part 1)

Neuburger, Dr. Max
1910 Dewey Dec. 610


Evolution of Modern Medicine

Osler, Sir William
Yale University 1921 Dewey Dec. 610

Subtitle: “A series of lectures delivered at Yale University on the Silliman Foundation in April, 1923”.
Contents: Introduction; Greek medicine; Medieval medicine; Renaissance and the rise of anatomy and physiology; Rise and development of modern medicine; Rise of preventive medicine. Contains many excellent illustrations.
“Highly interesting and able summary, suited to layman and doctor alike.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931)

History of Medicine in the United States (2 volumes)

– Volume 2

Packard, Francis R.
Hafner 1963 Dewey Dec. 610

Originally published in 1931.
Vol 1: Medical events connected with the early history of the English colonies in America – Epidemic sickness and mortality in the English colonies in North America from its earlies discovery to the year 1800 – Early medical legislation – The earliest hospitals – Medical education before the foundation of medical schools – The earliest medical schools – Pre-Revolutionary medical publications – The medical profession in the War for Independence – The medical department of the army from the close of the Revolution to the close of the Spanish-American War.
Vol 2: History of the medical department of the United States Navy – Some of the medical schools founded during the first half of the 19th century – Outlines of the development of medical practice and education in some of the states – Foreign influences on American medicine – Some notable events in American medicine and surgery – The Beginnings of Specialism in America – Appendices – Bibliography.

The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity

Porter, Roy
Norton 1998 Dewey Dec. 610

“Traces Western medical thought and practices from their origins in classical Greece to today’s biomedical developments. Although scholarly, the text is elegantly written, accessible to the general reader, and filled with fascinating details.” Libr J.

Seeking the Cure: A History of Medicine in America

Rutkow, Ira M.
Scribner 2010 Dewey Dec. 610

“An entertaining and intelligent history of the development of medicine in America by an award-winning physician.”
1. Colonial medicine — 2. Democratizaton of healing — 3. Emergence of modern medicine — 4. Consolidation of power — 5. Scientific advancement — 6. Professional authority — 7. Challenges of success — 8. Ascendancy — 9. Supremacy — 10. Transformation

Century Past Library