There were many medical advances made during the American Civil War. Maher, pg. The staff of 90 doctors was experienced in dealing with the health problems of small military outposts, but had no idea of how to deal with large scale medical and logistical problems. A surgeon recalled: "We operated in old blood-stained and often pus-stained coats, we used undisinfected instruments from undisinfected plush lined cases.
During the s, doctors had yet to develop bacteriology and were generally ignorant of the causes of disease. Generally, Civil War doctors underwent two years of medical school, though some pursued more education. Medicine in the United States was woefully behind Europe. Harvard Medical School did not even own a single stethoscope or microscope until after the war. Most Civil War surgeons had never treated a gunshot wound and many had never performed surgery. Medical boards admitted many "quacks," with little to no qualification.
Health Care and the American Medical Profession, 1830-1880
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Before the Civil War started, the effectiveness of hospitals in America wasnt the best, but as the war waged on, they slowly got better and more efficient. Before the succession of South Carolina, its Medical Department consisted of 30 surgeons that were ranked major, a general surgeon that was ranked colonel, and 84 assistant surgeons ranked lieutenant and then promoted to be a surgeon. They were a part of the General Staff of the army, but they were not part of any regiment because they would work where ever they were needed. In total they had surgeons and 1, assistant surgeons.