When Burrill Bernard Crohn was born on June 13, 1884, there was no such thing as an antibiotic or a blood transfusion or even aspirin. There was no medical specialty called gastroenterology, and physicians believed the only disease of the small intestine was tuberculosis. X-ray was in its infancy, and the only way to know what was going on inside a patient was to cut them open and take a look.
But Crohn was fortunate to begin his medical career at the start of what was to be a century of unprecedented scientific discovery. After graduating from medical school in 1907 at age 23, he worked at Mount Sinai Hospital and in private practice, caring for patients, observing, and asking questions. Crohn's chance encounter with a very ill 17-year-old boy and his refusal to accept the commonly held diagnosis of intestinal tuberculosis led to a critical breakthrough in thinking. He published a landmark scientific paper in 1932 identifying the disease that today bears his name.
MAJOR ADVANCES IN CROHN'S DISEASE RESEARCH