Document Type


Presentation Date



This article was published in The American Surgeon Volume 78, Issue 3, March 2012, Pages 280-281.

The published version is available at PMID: 22524762. Copyright © Ingenta


In the 1800s, the field of surgery was in its infancy, somewhat primitive and embryonic. The technical nature of surgery was the basis for the dividing line between the disciplines of surgery and internal medicine. Sterilization was not a common practice. Radical surgical resections and experimentation in medicine were shunned. With his boldness equaled only by his innovation and resourcefulness, Theodor Billroth would become a pioneer not only in the development of modern surgery, but also in the advancement of its cultural and historical significance.