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Article
July 8, 1988

Gastroenterology Comes of Age

Author Affiliations

Dr Kirsner is the Louis Block distinguished service professor of medicine, Division of the Biological Sciences, The University of Chicago.

Dr Kirsner is the Louis Block distinguished service professor of medicine, Division of the Biological Sciences, The University of Chicago.

JAMA. 1988;260(2):244-246. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410020110040
Abstract

The 1930s were a transitional period for the field of gastroenterology, bridging the gap between its emergence as a specialty at the turn of the century and its later blossoming as an important clinical and scientific discipline. Although the American Gastroenterological Association had been established in 1897 and prominent gastrointestinal (GI) specialists were readily identified, the field of digestive diseases had not yet attained peer and public recognition as a major specialty in America. With few exceptions, for example, the University of Chicago, Mount Sinai in New York, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, The Cleveland Clinic, and The Lahey Clinic, Boston, divisions of gastroenterology had not yet been established in most medical centers. Formal recognition of gastroenterology was not to come until the 1940s.

Physiological studies of the GI tract had been in progress intermittently in America for approximately 100 years, but basic knowledge relating to clinical

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