Some years ago there came into existence the self-appointed or the "one man" organization known as the American Medical Association. It presumed to set the standard whereby all other medical organizations should be judged, and it was so "broad and liberal" that any M.D. from any school of medicine could unite without losing his identity, providing he would agree to "not practice any special system or sectarian medicine."
This was a very tempting bait, and many Eclectics, as well as Homeopaths, not only swallowed said bait, but took line and all. Not long after the organization of this American Medical Association there came also into existence (self-appointed) the "Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Medical Teaching." As the result of these two organizations many of the so-called small schools were legislated out of existence, and many of the State boards refused to admit to their examinations students who were not graduates from colleges "recognized" by the two above named organizations.
Now comes the third organized effort to complete the work of destruction of the two weaker schools, and how well they will succeed will depend on the State examining boards.
Where there is but one board and that board has a good working majority, then it is reasonable to suppose that that board will vote to recognize the National Board and elimination of the Eclectics and Homeopaths from that State will be complete.
Why should the National Board be recognized?
It is a self-constituted board and has no recognition from the federal government. In fact, the federal government does not know that it exists, only that the regulars from the army and navy, are to be represented by two members from each of these branches of our medical corps.
Should this board come into power there would be but about thirty or thirty-five colleges recognized, and these from the regular school. All other medical colleges and their students would not be recognized; therefore, would not be admitted to examination.
It would not matter what would be the qualifications of the student, or how well prepared he might be if he were not a graduate from one of these so-called recognized colleges he could not be admitted to an examination.
If this so-called National Board wishes to "play fair" let them get the federal government to organize a department of education and then let the government select say ten or fifteen members from the State societies from the different schools, said members to have a fair representation from not only the regulars, but the Eclectics and the Homeopaths, as well.
I am sure that we would gladly welcome a national board, providing that board could receive the recognition of the federal government, and that all schools had a fair representation.
But to recognize a self-appointed board that represents only one branch or school, is too much for me, as a free American citizen, and as long as I remain a member of our State examining board, so long will I protest against the so-called "National Board."
But when there can be fair play and a fair representation of the two lesser schools, which have done so much to place medicine on the high pedestal it now enjoys, then and only then will I consent to a recognition of a national board.
W. E. DANIELS, M.D.,
Member of South Dakota State Board of Health and Medical Examiners.
National Eclectic Medical Association Quarterly, Vol. 7, 1915-16, was edited by William Nelson Mundy, M.D.