Medicine: From Ambulances to Allergy

When Robert Anderson Cooke was eight he went to live on the family farm at Holmdel, N.J., soon began to suffer severe asthma, especially after a visit to the stables. It got better when he was sent away to school. An M.D. at 24 (his family's fourth-generation physician), Intern Cooke was assigned to ride ambulances for Manhattan's Presbyterian Hospital. After each call he was gasping and choking, needed Adrenalin. Reason: this was 1905-06. the ambulances were horse-drawn, and young Cooke's asthma was caused by horse dandruff.

Last week, 78-year-old Dr. Cooke, as guest of honor at a physicians' dinner in Manhattan, told...

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