Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers Endpiece

Superspecialisation BC

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 27 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:218

The Greek historian Herodotus was born around 490 BC. His book two of The Histories (translation by Aubrey de Sélincourt, revised by John Marincola, London: Penguin,1996) is concerned with the Egyptians and includes the following passage: “The practice of medicine they split into separate parts, each doctor being responsible for the treatment of only one disease. There are, in consequence, innumerable doctors, some specialising in diseases of the eyes, others of the head, others of the teeth, others of the stomach, and so on; while others, again, deal with the sort of troubles which cannot be exactly localised.”


  • Submitted by A P Radford, retired general practitioner, Taunton, Somerset