THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN PHYSIOLOGY
Scientific Medicine in the Nineteenth
Century. W. Bruce Fye. The Johns
Hopkins University Press, Baltimore,
1987. 308 pp. $35.
The centennial of the American Physiological Society in 1987 has stimulated the publication of several books, some that were in preparation independently and others engendered specifically by the occasion. This excellent volume tracing the origins of the scientific approach to medical training and practice falls into the former category. W Bruce Fye, a practicing clinical physician and professional historian, became interested in the role of physiologists in the development of modern medicine in 1976, when he was a fellow in cardiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Since Hopkins played a major role in bringing about the changes, Fye hardly could have had a better vantage point from which to start.
The first part of the book is biographical, involving the lives of our men...