An exhibit chronicling the history of medical practice in Geneva will open with a reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 at the Geneva Historical Society's Prouty-Chew Museum, 543 S. Main St.
Dr. Kamill Kovach, a retired Geneva physician, has compiled research on the doctors who practiced in Geneva from the 1790s to the recent past; the exhibit is based largely on his findings.
Because of the mosquito-infested swamps around Seneca Lake in the early days of settlement, Geneva, like many parts of western New York, was prone to the “Genesee Fever,” a disease similar to malaria. With no knowledge of bacteriology, early doctors had little more than knives and derivatives of opium to treat patients.
As the community has grown, medicine has evolved from apprenticeship training to scientific inquiry and from individual practice to a regional health system.
Over the last 200 years, Geneva has seen a Hygienic Institute, a medical college, the first woman to receive a medical degree, and an expanding hospital facility. As reflected in the exhibit, nurses, volunteers, public organizations, and hospital administrators have all worked with physicians to provide a high level of care to Geneva’s citizens.
“Medicine in Geneva” will run through early 2007. For more details, call the office at (315) 789-5151.
The Geneva Historical Society, based in the Prouty-Chew House at 543 S. Main St., is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday; admission is free.