Dr. Farina to speak on Civil War medicine

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland Historical Society’s Sept. 19 meeting features another of our Civil War Sesquicentennial programs when Dr. Matthew Farina discusses “Civil War Medicine: Myth and Reality.”

Looking back from the viewpoint of the 21st Century, Civil War era medical practices seem primitive, but, in the context of the 1860s, those doctors were using the best possible methods of treatment known at the time under extremely trying conditions. Farina will point out that some advances in medicine were made resulting from doctors’ experiences in treating the sick and wounded.

As part of the program, he will display a reproduction amputation kit and other medical items of the period.

A retired pediatric cardiologist and clinical professor of pediatrics at Albany Medical Center, Farina is well qualified to describe Civil War medicine. In addition to his medical background, he has had a lifelong interest in Civil War history, beginning at age 10 when he visited Gettysburg Battlefield.

He has presented Civil War programs in many states and as far away as Australia, and, in addition, has assisted in organizing several exhibits. Both the Capital District and Rufus Barringer (North Carolina) Civil War Round Tables are fortunate to have him as an active member.

The Guilderland Historical Society’s meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Mynderse-Frederick House at 451 Route 146 in Guilderland Center. There is parking next door at the church.

We welcome nonmembers to join us for the program. There are refreshments following the program and a social hour when you may chat with Farina. For further information, call 861-8582.

Editor’s note: Mary Ellen Johnson is a member of the Guilderland Historical Society

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