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October 31, 1925


JAMA. 1925;85(18):1401-1402. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670180057018

When Beaumont began his pioneer observations on Alexis St. Martin, the human carrier of a gastric fistula, he was familiar with studies on the functions of the stomach by several eminent predecessors and contemporaries. One might suppose, therefore, that after all the intervening years the behavior of the gastric mechanisms would have been well established. Despite this, however, there have been reversals of opinion as well as important increments of knowledge regarding the working of the abdominal organ in which the alimentary processes are initiated. Scarcely a detail of the story has not been challenged or denied at one time or another. From the standpoint of clinical physiology, this is unfortunate. The problems of gastro-enterology have often become confused because of the "instability" of the information that has been brought to bear on some of them. The history of the study of gastric physiology would furnish striking illustrations of the

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