• Railway surgery was an organized movement in the late 19th century that had as its primary goal the systematic study of accident or trauma surgery. Railway surgeons, although often regarded with contempt by their fellow physicians, fostered such revolutionary concepts in health care provision as private inpatient hospitals and rudimentary managed care plans. Railway surgery and its proponents are a long-forgotten chapter in the history of US surgery, but they serve as an apt example of how studying and understanding the past can enable us to be better prepared to cope with the present and the future.
(Arch Surg. 1993;128:458-463)