Doctor or charlatan?
If you were sick back in the days of the Old West like we would today, you would go see a doctor, only it’s not that easy. It was quite possible to run into someone who claimed to be one, but who really wasn’t. In terms of medical knowledge and training, there was a high level of deficiency. From the 1860s onward—and in some areas, a frontier doctor could be almost any man who claimed to be on. These charlatans were lurking on every street corner, waiting for unsuspecting sick passers-by who were easily taken in by the crafty and smooth talk of these well-dressed and charming individuals.
If you lived in the Wild West, you might have been seeing someone pretending to be a doctor, there was absolutely no guarantee that that person had any medical qualification. Yet there were properly trained practitioners in the American West, yet they were few in number. This means that you had a good chance of being treated by someone who could only be described as a charlatan. The consequences were incalculable; some sick people not only lost money as a result of poor treatment, but in the worst-case scenario, they died as a result of it.