Abraham Jacobi (1830-1919), this country's first professor of infantile pathology and therapeutics, and the first to establish a children's clinic in the United States (1860), had strong views concerning medical specialization. This is evident in the quotation below, taken from an address he gave at the 1880 meeting of the American Medical Association.1

We are surrounded by specialists of all sizes and regions. The human body is held no longer to be an organism, but a conglomerate of organs which have no connection with each other. One man doctors the eye as another plays on the violin; another the larynx, as one plays the harp; another on the rectum, as one handles the bass. Eyes are by this time a recognized specialty, the practice on which requires a great deal of practical skill and dexterity. The ears have been thrown in, as, though the diagnosis of their diseases has made great progress, their medication and other treatment is, in many cases, rather a thankless task. Nose, throat, and larynx have been conquered as special property. Lungs and heart are also claimed as such; the urinary organs are invaded by specialists; the sexual organs of the male are the field of operation on the part of specialists; the sexual organs of the female, with their appendages, are sacred property of another class, and these appendages are said to extend from top to toe; the skin, this fourteen square feet domain, is no longer subject to the general practitioner; the hair is coveted by one specialist, corns by another, nervous diseases by this, rheumatism by that specialist.

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