A Personal Application.
Selected writings of John M. Scudder.
It should not offend one to have pernicious habits uncovered, but unfortunately it too often does so. It has always been a source of wonder to us why doctors, who teach hygiene and cleanliness to others, should go to the sick—who are already over-sensitive—reeking with the fumes of whisky and the nastiness of the pipe.—Ed. Gleaner.
A PERSONAL APPLICATION.—I wonder if it would offend us to make a personal application of the text, "cleanliness is next to godliness." It strikes me that it is not out of place, and that the doctor should set a good example. Let me illustrate:
A lady from a neighboring village applied for treatment, and I remarked to her that Dr. A. in her neighborhood was an excellent physician, and she had better have his advice as the case progressed. The answer was clear and explicit: "He is so uncouth and dirty, he chews tobacco, smokes, drinks whisky, and carries about him such offensive odors, that his presence makes me sick." Unfortunately it was too true, and I had nothing to say in reply.
The Hindoos have the following maxims: "It was most unlucky to summon a doctor away from his dinner, bed, the church, or the theater—most ill-omened: an extraordinary and truthful fact which ought to be impressed on the minds of modern patients. To gain the confidence of families, the physician, clean and neat, should carry an umbrella, have an agreeable voice, a small tongue, strait eyes and nose, thin lips, short teeth, and thick bushy hair, which retains its vigor; should have a knowledge of books, and be kind to his pupils."
The physician is (or should be) a gentleman. A gentleman is cleanly in his person and in his habits; neat in his dress, and pleasant in address; and free from grossness. He is (or should be) an educated man, and a cultivated man, well read in literature and science. Just in proportion as he is all of these, he will be successful in all that constitutes true success in life.—SCUDDER, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1874.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.