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Article
January 1925

THE EVOLUTION OF THORACIC SURGERY AS A SPECIALTY

Author Affiliations

ROCHESTER, MINN.
From the Section on Thoracic Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

Arch Surg. 1925;10(1):267-277. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1925.01120100279012
Abstract

Perhaps the most outstanding feature in the development of medical practice during the last three decades is specialization. This is the logical outcome of the vast increase in our knowledge of disease and its treatment. Surgery emerged as a specialty after the epoch making discoveries of Pasteur and of Lister. Early in the aseptic era, the number of recognized surgical procedures was so limited that there was no thought of specialization. But as the number and variety of disease conditions found amenable to surgical treatment increased, and as the number of operations multiplied and the technic developed, there naturally emerged the specialization of the surgery of the eye, ear, nose and throat, of the genito-urinary organs, of the extremities, and of the central nervous system. The general surgeon, in greater or lesser measure, still lays claim to the whole field, but there has been a growing trend toward specialization in

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