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October 23, 1996

American Cardiology: The History of a Specialty and Its College

Author Affiliations

Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, Calif

JAMA. 1996;276(16):1352-1353. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540160074041

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Dr Fye's book began as a history of the American College of Cardiology. It was commissioned by that organization in 1990 upon the 40th anniversary of its founding. The idea was expanded into that of a broader survey of the origin and development of the profession of cardiology in the United States.

Fye sees the discipline of cardiology as achieving definition during the period 1900 to 1920. He categorizes the physicians driving this development as physiologists, practitioners, academics, and public health enthusiasts. The introduction of the electrocardiograph stands out as a dominant factor in defining and promoting the new specialty. The first electrocardiograph in the United States was installed at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City in 1909. By 1925, 450 Cambridge instruments were in place in the country, more than one third in physicians' offices. This development could be taken as the beginning of the use of technology