Hopkins medicine counts many "firsts" among its achievements during its early years: the first major medical school in the United States to admit women; the first to use rubber gloves during surgery; the first to develop renal dialysis and CPR.
Two of the most far-reaching advances in medicine during the last 25 years were made at Hopkins. The Nobel Prize-winning discovery of restriction enzymes gave birth to the genetic engineering industry and can be compared, some say, to the first splitting of an atom. Also, the discovery of the brain's natural opiates has triggered an explosion of interest in neurotransmitter pathways and functions. Other accomplishments include the identification of the three types of polio virus and the first "blue baby" operation, which opened the way to modern heart surgery. Hopkins also was the birthplace of many medical specialties, including neurosurgery, urology, endocrinology and pediatrics.