Independent Thought and Action.
The writer of the Medical Era under the title "Quo Vadis" makes some interesting statements concerning the study of remedies and the position held by the different schools.
He says, "Ever since medicine has been known there have been sects or schools for medicine differing in their ideas and teachings regarding disease and concerning the remedies that should be used in the effort to cure, each claiming, usually, its method the only correct one. While this claim is not true, it is true that there is much that is good in each and much that is worthless in all.
"I believe, if there is any man, or set of men, who should adopt as their motto 'Prove all things, hold fast only that which is good,' it should be the physician. He should go to the bedside of his patient untrammelled by the dictum of any man or set of men, free to use the best means at his command to relieve or cure his patient.
"There has been growing for some time, in the different schools of medicine, a spirit of liberality and tolerance, the one for the other; a tendency to break down that spirit of bigotry and egotism that has so long dominated the profession; an inclination or desire to draw nearer to each other. This, I think, should be fostered and encouraged in every honorable way and I believe the liberal-minded leaders in the profession are doing this, and do not hesitate to prescribe remedies from other schools than their own, neither do they hesitate to endorse and recommend these remedies.
"The American Medical Association has an official representative, an authorized agent in the Council on Pharmacy. The A. M A. is the official representative of the Regular school of medicine. This Association does not take cognizance of remedies advocated by other schools of medicine. Whenever a physician reaches that condition wherein he cannot or will not be guided by his own opinion and knowledge as to the remedy or remedies best adapted to benefit his patient he has reached the age when he should feel in duty bound to those who trust their lives to his care, to get on to the shelf, or to follow Osler's advice and take chloroform, be his age what it may. There are but few well informed physicians who are willing to disregard a remedy they have tried and know to be good, simply because that remedy is not recommended by the Council on Pharmacy. If we have not sufficient knowledge of drugs and their effects on the human, to know what to use, and what to let alone, we have no right to practise medicine. If we, do know these things, certainly we do not need the dictation of the A. M. A."
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.