At the turn of the twentieth century, the surgeon Dr. John H. Girdner started to notice something peculiar about his Manhattan patients. Girdner had left his home state of Tennessee to study at New York University and worked his way up the medical ranks, even attending to President James A. Garfield when he was shot. After twenty-five years of treating patients in the big city, Girdner decided to write his findings in a book. A very large percentage [of people] lead an artificial life here, he warned. This manner of life has brought about a condition of mind, body, and soul, which I have endeavored to describe under the title of Newyorkitis.