Writing in 1876, John Shaw Billings (1838-1919), a physician/surgeon then in charge of the library of the surgeon-general's office and soon to become founder of the Index Medicus (1879), noted that
since the year 1800, medical journalism has become the principal means of recording and communicating the observations and ideas of those engaged in the practice of medicine. . . .Through the medical journals have been given to the world nearly all the discoveries which the science and art of medicine owes to American physicians.
Rutkow IM. Early American Surgical Periodicals. Arch Surg. 1998;133(10):1139. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Surg.-ISSN-0004-0010-133-10-ssh1098
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