The hospital as a factor in civilization began almost back in the dark ages when military commanders, chiefs of clans and monarchs were compelled to maintain some place in which to take care of their sick and hurt soldiers. The principle underlying the hospital in those days was a wholly selfish one and contemplated merely the fighting strength of the army.
At a later day some of the religious orders began to care for the homeless and helpless within their domains. One hundred years ago society as a whole began to consider its obligations to the poor and helpless who were sick, and the first civil hospitals were created. Little by little and step by step these hospitals grew in grace, physicians began to frequent them in their studies of medical science, and it is from this period that the hospital dates as a real factor for the common good.