Even in ancient times, physicians recognized the advantages of a division of labor, allowing concentration of effort in a relatively narrow field of medicine. The ancient Babylonians, according to Garrison, had a physician for every disease, and in the Code Hammurabi (2250 B. C.) medical fees were already regulated by law. Likewise among the Egyptians, as shown by the Ebers papyrus, medicine was highly specialized as early as 1550 B. C. Herodotus states that in the fifth century B. C. (in Egypt):
Each physician applies himself to one disease only, and not more. All places abound in physicians; some physicians are for the eyes, others for the head, others for the teeth, others for the intestines, and others for internal disorders.
Although medical specialism was thus practiced by the ancients, who undoubtedly developed a high degree of skill in certain respects, for example, in operations for cataract by the Hindus,