Author(s): M E DeBakey
MD EDICAL PRACTICE, in one form or another, is rooted in the dawn of history and has paralleled, reflected, and sometimes influenced man's development. True cognizance and understanding of the societal role of surgery require a broad review of certain periods in the history of man's development. Neither necessary nor appropriate for this purpose, however, is a detailed historical account of surgery, which is available in many otherpublications. 1-22 Accordingly, historical considerations in this presentation are highly selective, with a focus on those personalities and events, including the social and cultural settings, pertinent to my thesis that surgeons, throughout recorded history, have viewed obstacles, adversaries, antiscientism, and anti-intellectualism as challenges and opportunities for improving their discipline by engaging in research, analysis of clinical experience, and other intellectual pursuits.