An adequate History of Indian Medicine has yet to be written, though the importance of the subject has been acknowledged by the eminent authorities. Professor Max Neuburger of the University of Vienna records the opinion that "the medicine of Indians, if it does not equal the best achievements of their race, at least nearly approaches them, and owing to its wealth of knowledge, depth of speculation and systematic construction, takes an outstanding position in the History of Oriental Medicine. Thanks to the inexhaustible fount of Sanskrit Literature, its development can be traced in outline at any rate from its primeval origins in empiricisms and theurgy to its height as a completed system of learning." (Neuburger: History of Medicine, translated by Playfair Vol. I, p. 43.) It needs no elaborate argument to establish that this "inexhaustible fount" requires for its complete exploration an army of scholars; and till this has been achieve, summaries of the history of Indian Medicine must continue to be incomplete and fragmentary. We cannot consequently express surprise when were find that Neuburger in his great work devotes only 18 pages to the subject, while Professor Buck of Columbia in his work on "The Growth of Medicine from the earliest times to the end of the 18th century" contents himself with a few paragraphs which occupy 8 pages only. In these circumstances, it is no wonder that the topic is not even mentioned in the brilliant lectures on "The Evolution of Modern Medicine" delivered by Sir William Osler at the Yale University in 1913.
I have stated enough to establish the importance of the work undertaken by Dr. Girindranath Mookerjee. In 1909 the University awarded him the Griffith Memorial Prize for the encouragement of advanced study in Science and Letters, in his valuable theses thesis dealing with the Surgical Instruments of the Hindus. This work has already been published in two volumes and its merits have been widely recognised. In 1911 the University again awarded the Griffith Prize to Dr. Mookerjee for his exhaustive thesis entitle "Notices, Biographical and Bibliographical of the Indian Physicians and their works on Medicine." This was followed in 1913 by a thesis on "the Science of Medicine in the Atharvaveda," which participated in the award for that year. The materials thus collected are of immense value and will occupy several volumes.