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September 10, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(11):559-565. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.92450110001001

In the rapid progress of events, the timid steps earlier taken in a most careful way, in the devising of better surgical methods, are now naturally considered of little importance. However, historical studies are of interest and value: of interest, in that they show the thoughtful, reflective judgment of men who considered the gravity of the problems upon which a life is ever more or less dependent; of value, since they point out the way, open ever, but only, to the real student who seeks the ideal, regardless of self-interest; and especially in the fruitage of averted suffering and the saving of life beyond the hope of previous generations.

Based upon ample data, collected with painstaking care, a generation ago, military surgery was rewritten and stands today as the enduring monument of my early master, the late George A. Otis, Surgeon U. S. Army. The slowly developing interest in the