The Ginzburg you never heard of

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  • using or illuminating, about our surgical heritage.This oral history will be lost unless it is captured now. The Editors invite you to submit anecdotes,vignettes, stories of your mentors (great and small), or simply the tall tales you tell your residents aboutthe way it once was.

    The Ginzburg you never heard ofAndrew L. Warshaw, MD, Boston, Mass


    I have the black-and-white silent movie he made in

    1929 that demonstrated the use of electrocautery to

    1. Crohn BB, Ginzburg L, Oppenheimer GD. Regional ileitis:a pathologic and clinical entity. JAMA 1932;99:1323-9.

    Accepted for publication January 9, 2004.

    Reprint requests: Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, MGH 55 Fruit St,WHT506, Boston, MA 02114

    Surgery 2004:135:695.

    0039-6060/$ - see front matter

    2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Moments in surgery

    Many of our readers are the guardians of lore, amFrom the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical Scho

    MORE THAN 15 YEARS AGO, Charles McSherry, thenChief of Surgery at New York Citys Beth IsraelMedical Center, invited me to speak at the centersgrand rounds. I had grown up in that city but hadbeen back seldom inmore than 3 decades except tovisit family.After my talk, a little white-haired, white-mus-

    tached man in a white coat wanted to speak to me.Dr Warshaw, he said, I have wanted to thankyou. I am the Ginzburg you never heard of. Youcan imagine my puzzlement. Youre welcome, DrGinzburg, but what are you thanking me for?Well, I was a surgeon at theMount SinaiHospital

    60 years ago when your father was offered a job inthe rectal clinic. He didnt take the job, and I got it.So thank you. I remember my father referring tohemorrhoids as tail-feathers. Somewhere in a boxdoi:10.1016/j.surg.2004.01.002and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass

    remove hemorrhoids, but he chose not to be, in hiswords, a rear admiral.OK, Dr Ginzburg. Youre welcome, I replied,

    but I have to admit that you are right: I still dontknow you. Should I?At about the same time, two of my associates and

    I wrote up some cases we had encountered. Wediscussed what order to put our names on the paperand decided it was least complicated just to listthem alphabetically. So it was Crohn, Ginzburg, andOppenheimer,1 and the cases we called regionalileitis became known as Crohns disease. And thatis why I am the Ginzburg you never heard of.Caveat scriptor!


    The Ginzburg you never heard ofReferences