NINETEENTH-CENTURY American society was particularly prone to the establishment of numerous unorthodox medical practices and their alternative therapies. The most influential of the unorthodox medical groups were the homeopathic and eclectic sects. From within the ranks of homeopathy and eclecticism, William Tod Helmuth and Andrew Jackson Howe, respectively, emerged to become the best-known sectarian surgeons of their era. Through a review of their lives this forgotten chapter in the history of American surgery is recollected. The most serious threat to the professional survival of the 19th-century physician/surgeon was the emergence of medical and surgical sectarianism.1-5 This was a series of organized health care movements that sought professional status for their practitioners. The most prominent of these movements were homeopathy and eclecticism, in addition to the latter's rival branch, physiomedicalism. From within the respective ranks of homeopathy and eclecticism, William Tod Helmuth (1833-1902) and Andrew Jackson Howe (1825-1892) emerged to
Rutkow IM. William Tod Helmuth and Andrew Jackson Howe: Surgical Sectarianism in 19th-Century America. Arch Surg. 1994;129(6):662–668. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1994.01420300106019
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