Science & Social Change: Early 20th Century Medicine

The early 20th century period reflected shifting social and scientific attitudes to healthcare. During this period, healthcare was forced to respond to unprecedented challenges, including a rapidly increasing population, urbanization, and major public health crises on a scale never seen before.

Scientific development lead to new discoveries in treatment and prevention. Simultaneously, public health was brought to the forefront of political thought, resulting in the founding of the first federal Department of Health and paving the way for healthcare as we know it.

Increasing mental health awareness led to the development of psychiatry and psychology as a part of medicine. Locally, this can be seen in the founding of the Hospital for the Mind in 1904. Now, the Riverview Hospital grounds stand as a reminder of our mental health heritage.