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Article
September 1949

ORIGINS OF THE NATIONAL AND REGIONAL SURGICAL SOCIETIESPresidential Address

Author Affiliations

ANN ARBOR, MICH.

Arch Surg. 1949;59(3):373-385. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240040381001
Abstract

THE MIDDLE of the nineteenth century was a notable epoch in the chronicles of American medicine. The demonstration of ether anesthesia to a medical group in 1846 was followed by the rapid development of the medical sciences, particularly cellular pathology, bacteriology, organic chemistry and experimental physiology. Through the application of the knowledge derived from the basic sciences to clinical practice, medicine gradually emerged from the age of theories and systems and assumed its position as one of the major disciplines of biology. Furthermore, attempts to regulate certain aspects of medical practice were introduced during this period. In 1847, the American Medical Association was founded, chiefly for the purpose of improving the state of medical education but also to combat the evil of college faculties' both teaching and licensing medical students. In 1860, the scientific sessions of this body were divided into four sections, one of which was surgery. For some

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