The First World War stimulated the development of special skills and special interests, particularly in psychiatry, orthopedics, and plastic and thoracic surgery. At the same time, advances applicable to medical practice were being made in nonclinical fields-biochemistry, bacteriology, and endocri­ nology-and in the social services. Radiotherapy was being adopted in a number of hospitals; diagnostic radiology was expanding. By the early 1920s medical specialization, although deplored by those who saw that medi­ cine was irrevocably disunited,1 was generally accepted as necessary and inevitable. Many specialties were gradually evolving from a peripheral inter­ est in a particular sphere of general medicine or general surgery to bodies of knowledge in their own right. Medical practice between the two world wars reflected the struggle between the Royal Colleges which wanted to retain medicine as a unified whole, with the emerging groups which wanted to raise standards in their own special fields and to advance their own status. Not surprisingly, no clear pattern emerged from the struggle.