On her school field trips to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, our Travel Ready M.D., Dr. Sarah Kohl, imagined what colonial life was like:

As a child, I really didn’t understand the intrigue and danger associated with creation of our government; I was more interested in things I could imagine- daily life in colonial America.

  • Meat left out on tables, covered with flies.
  • Water teeming with maggots drawn from dirty rivers.
  • Open sewers built into the cobblestone streets.
  • Wharfs full of sailors, pickpockets, and rotting garbage.


It was disgusting—which made it all the more interesting to the 12-year-old me.


Dr. Kohl says scientific advances leading to modern medical treatments can be traced back to the early days of our fledgling nation:

The scientific advances, which led to modern medical treatments, had their beginnings in the Declaration of Independence.

The founding fathers laid out the foundation of freedom of thought and expression in the constitution. However these ideas first formed as they created a new nation, a nation where new ideas could be debated and tested. This tolerance for freedom of thought lead to scientific inquiry and thus to effective treatments.

The academic freedoms we enjoy today had their roots in the debates and declarations that took place at Independence Hall.

We often forget that Philadelphia in 1776 was a cesspool. Life was just that way then.

And so on this day in which we celebrate independence, I give thanks that the founding fathers stayed in Philadelphia to complete their work.

And for the foresight they had in creating a stable form of government that has allow our nation to prosper.

And for the freedom of expression which has allowed scientific inquiry to flourish.

Happy Fourth of July!


Read the rest of Dr. Sarah Kohl’s article, “Did the Declaration of Independence Lead to Better Medical Treatments?” on her excellent blog at TravelReadyMD here.


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