Selected writings of A. Jackson Howe.
Dr. Howe answers the often plied question as to whether he believed in specific medication. This article comes as near an expression on the subject by Dr. Howe as any we have ever seen from his pen.—Ed. Gleaner.
SPECIFIC MEDICATION.—I am frequently asked if I believe in "specific medication," and my answer is, that I have always advocated the application of remedies specifically. I prescribe for symptoms when causes of disease are not understood. I believe in a well devised system of nosology for the convenience of the thing, when the ensemble of a series of morbid activities can be comprehended as designated, as it can be in pneumonia, measles, scarlet fever, small pox, and numerous other well known diseases. Then why quibble over a silly symptomatology? I am something of a utilitarian, and have no time to haggle over non-essentials If bacteriology means anything, it leans towards specific pathology Here is the bacillus tuberculosis as the materies morbi of phthisis— no, as the contagium vivum of consumption Now what is to be done with the specific cause of the particular disease? Why, kill it with the Koch tuberculin, or some other parasiticide! The drift of pathology throughout the scientific world is in the direction of specific medication. The introduction of antipyrine and kindred drugs is in the line of employing specifics All practitioners of medicine are in search of a remedial hammer which will hit the morbid nail on the head, and all sensible and progressive doctors take less and less stock in "glittering generalities and general principle." There is less and less shot gun practice, less firing in the brushes, less and less mixing and compounding, and more and more rifle practice—aiming at the bull's eye
Yes, as ever, I am in favor of specific medication as I understand it —HOWE, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1892
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.