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Dr. Charest


Delivery of health care services has always been a challenge in North Dakota. Keeping small town hospitals and clinics open, along with attracting and retaining health care professionals like doctors and nurses are ongoing concerns. Well, according to his paid advertisement in the March 23rd , 1907 edition of the Dickinson Press, Fargo-based Dr. Charest was doing his best to deliver health care to western North Dakota. His ad, featuring a sketch of the handsome goateed doctor, announces that he, "The most eminent specialist of the Northwest, by request of his patients, will visit professionally" the people of Dickinson, Saturday, April 6th at the St. Charles Hotel...returning every four weeks.

His advertisement states, "Dr. Charest has a long and successful experience in the treatment of all curable medical and surgical diseases. His equipment is unexcelled by any Institute or Hospital west of Chicago and he treats his patients by the latest and the most scientific methods of Europe and the East. These include X Rays, Radium Rays, Vibrators, Massage, Finsen Light, Lymph and the most carefully prepared medicines for treating diseases, and they cure to stay cured, all curable cases including Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat, Lung Troubles. Bronchitis, Consumption in its early stages. Catarrh, Stomach and Bowel Troubles, Appendicitis, Rheumatism, Neuralgia, disease of the Brain and Nerves, Kidney and Liver troubles. Ringing of the ears, including beginning or progressive Deafness, Bladder troubles, Heart troubles, sore Eyes, weak or running eyes, cataract, granulated or thickened Lids, Female Complaints or Weaknesses, Sterility." Dr. Charest's 1907 ad in the Dickinson Press goes on to say he can treat, "Blood, Skin and Private diseases, diseases of men, Dizziness, Vertigo, loss of Memory, Sexual Weakness, Drains and Losses. And diseases tending towards permanent insanity, quickly and permanently cured." Dr. Charest also treated, "Cancer, Piles, Tumors, Warts, Moles, and all malignant growths, treated successfully without a knife, and absolutely without pain, by an entirely new method lately discovered in Paris, France. Consultation to those interested...One dollar."

With that list of maladies, illnesses and injuries he could heal and cure, and with consultations for a dollar, I imagine Dr. Charest's Saturdays at the St. Charles Hotel in Dickinson in 1907 were quite busy.

By Merrill Piepkorn