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The frequency with which grave complications followed even the most trivial operations before the introduction of the modern treatment of wounds, undoubtedly induced the great Hunter to remark: "The necessity for operation is in truth the defect of surgery." To-day, with an improved technique and the means at our disposal which, if properly applied, will furnish almost absolute protection against wound infective diseases, the surgeon can, with a just source of pride and gratification, confirm the correctness of the assertion made centuries ago by Celsus, "quœ manu potissimum curat."
No one who is familiar with the medical literature of the last two decades can arrive at any other conclusion than that the legitimate sphere of the physician has been gradually growing smaller, or, if this statement be objected to, that the practice of medicine has become more and more surgical. In accordance with the spirit of the times, uncertainty and
SENN N. THE PRESENT STATUS OF ABDOMINAL SURGERY. Delivered at the Thirty-Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association on Tuesday, May 5, 1886. JAMA. 1886;VI(22):589–598. doi:10.1001/jama.1886.04250050113001
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