Multimedia piece explores Philly’s medical history

“Now, why Philly?”

That’s how the first stop begins on the interactive map for Marketplace’s “Philadelphia: The Birthplace of Healthcare” but it also could be a question about AHCJ’s 2011 conference.

The answers are remarkably similar.

Philadelphia has played a large role in the development of health care in this country. Some of the notable events, from the Marketplace piece:

  • Benjamin Franklin helped launch the pharmaceutical industry there.
  • Philly resident Philip Physick, inventor of dozens of surgical instruments, also invented an economic instrument that enabled surgeons to get paid.
  • An idealistic eye doctor there at the turn of the century helped launch what’s now a multi-billion dollar screening industry.

Marketplace’s project, which includes an interactive map timeline that leads you to audio and video pieces, provides an interesting tale of health care in that city. Hear about the surgical amphitheatre where people paid to watch surgery and how the first HMO came about. Find out how an eye doctor became responsible for the screening trend.

Most surprising is the use of puppets, a canoe and music to tell the stories.

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