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From Black Bag to High Science: Medicine in Central N.B. 1850-2000
Fredericton Region Museum
Fredericton , New Brunswick


   In the decades following
the Second World War, central
New Brunswick experienced the
most rapid population growth
in the province. That
expansion was driven not by
farming, manufacturing or
railways - which for more
than a century had powered
the local economy - but by a

dramatic growth in the public
service, the military, higher
education, and health
services. From a countryside
of scattered rural
settlements and small towns,
the region rapidly became an
urban community centred on
Fredericton and Oromocto. By
2001, more than 81,000 people

lived in the greater
Fredericton area, and nearly
2,400 of whom worked in the
health professions.
   During the course of the
20th century medical care
became an increasingly
important component of life
in central New Brunswick. In
the early part of the century

doctors followed their
patients into the scattered
settlements of the region
ministering as best they
could with their limited
resources. As scientific
research and technological
innovation yielded more
effective forms of diagnosis
and treatment, people's

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