Achieving Growth and Excellence in Medicine: The Case History of Armed Conflict and Modern Reconstructive Surgery

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November 11, 2009 will mark over 90 years of commemorating Armistice Day, the end of World War I. Although conflict in the Middle East reminds us that WWI failed to end all wars, it did serve as both substrate and catalyst for the development of modern plastic and reconstructive surgery. This article will outline those ingredients most directly responsible for the growth of the specialty, tracing its development in response to armed conflict, and implications for continued excellence both in reconstructive surgery and other fields in the future.

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