Rural Healthcare Oral History Project

This collection documents changes in healthcare during the twentieth century in the rural counties of Pulaski, Wayne, and McCreary. Interviewees discuss the gradual change in the rural healthcare system from in-home and community based-care to a health system administered by medical professionals in hospitals and doctors’ offices. The interviews reveal that many residents miss the personal, intimate aspects of rural health care. Other topics include modern medical technology, the escalating costs of modern healthcare, the old barter system of payment, doctors in politics, the effect of the federal and state government on changes in healthcare, Black physicians, folk medicine, and home remedies. Interviewees are residents from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, both in and out of the healthcare field, including physicians, nurses, midwives, and healthcare workers.