James Marion Sims laid the foundation for gynecology as a medical specialty, despite his father's contempt for the profession. The elder Sims warned his son that "there is no science in it. There is no honor to be achieved in it, no reputation to be made." Sims, however, proved his father wrong. The country doctor from Alabama, who was born on Jan. 25, 1813, invented a number of surgical procedures and techniques and founded the Woman's Hospital in New York, which was duplicated around the world. Like his friend P.T. Barnum, Sims was a true showman, which helped earn him the distinction of being the first American doctor asked to teach in Europe. Sims practiced for several years in England and France before moving back to New York. He died in 1883.
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