In the old days, writes Dalrymple,
injections of histidine and various extracts of various animals’ stomach linings were tried, all with initial success and enthusiasm, all with ultimate failure. The gastric juice of people was infused, presumably by nasogastric tube, into the stomachs of sufferers. Then there were the operations: all those Billroth gastrectomies whose names were once such a torture for medical students to learn.
Dalrymple recalls a remark by Sir Heneage Ogilvie, the surgeon, about the use of eponyms:
If we must have names, let credit be properly attributed and call the operation the high posterior Finsterer-Lake-Lahey modification of the Mikulicz-Krönlein-Hofmeister-Reichel-Polya improvement of the Billroth II gastrectomy.