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Moments in Surgical History
October 1998

Early American Surgical Periodicals

Arch Surg. 1998;133(10):1139. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Surg.-ISSN-0004-0010-133-10-ssh1098

Writing in 1876, John Shaw Billings (1838-1919), a physician/surgeon then in charge of the library of the surgeon-general's office and soon to become founder of the Index Medicus (1879), noted that

since the year 1800, medical journalism has become the principal means of recording and communicating the observations and ideas of those engaged in the practice of medicine. . . .Through the medical journals have been given to the world nearly all the discoveries which the science and art of medicine owes to American physicians.

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