Burtis B. Breese, MD, was a newly licensed physician in 1931. It is astounding to think of the changes in medicine that have taken place since then—changes that medical students and young physicians, understandably, do not think about or cannot fully comprehend—changes that Dr Breese was involved in because of his sustained interest in one important organism. Unlike many generalists, he focused his interest on the streptococcus and, now, 47 years later, has amassed an enormous amount of experience and clinical data that should be required reading for years to come by any serious student of this pathogen.
When Dr Breese started practice, scarlet fever was a frightening disease that resulted in the burning of a child's toys, clothes, and other possessions. I can remember when houses were posted as "quarantined," which had some of the mystery and fear of having plague in the neighborhood. Penicillin was still more than