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The Eclectic Practice of Medicine.

Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.

Professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine in the Eclectic Medical Institute; Ex-President of the National Eclectic Medical Association; Consulting Physician to the Seton Hospital; Member City, State, and National Eclectic Medical Association, Etc.

Illustrated Second Edition

Cincinnati, Ohio
The Scudder Brothers Company

Scanned version copyright © 2002–2014 Michael Moore. Used with permission.
This is the .html version. You'll find the .pdf version on Michael's site.

In 1906, Dr. Rolla Thomas completely revised the 1866 teaching manual by John Milton Scudder, and revised it yet again in 1907. This was the culmination of a thirty-year frenzy of published creativity at the Eclectic Medical Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was the main teaching text at that school until the1930s...the college closed in 1939. Throughout can be viewed the primary thesis of Eclecticism: No matter what the disease may be named, treat the person with the symptoms first. Strengthen the defenses and support the life energy. Of course medicine as progressed exponentially since then...yet in some ways it has been infeebled by not treating the person, the actual "translator" of the disease, rather treating the pathology.

The Eclectics were the most sophisticated of all the Medical Reform Sects that arose from the mid-1800s, lasted the longest and published the best books. This is a physician's manual, and can be harrowing at times, but it offers a clear and precise model for the clinical application of a vitalist healing philosophy. Many potentially fatal disorders harried our foreparents, many barely treatable by ANY physician, including the Eclectics...many are now merely footnotes, so capable is current medicine and public health. Yet, underneath it all is the basic tenant, still important and applicable, that HOW a person gets sick is at least equal to WHAT the name of the disease is. In this realm, much of this book is still useful, even subversive.

"...it were better for the doctor if he can forget that his patient has typhoid fever, pneumonia, dysentery, or whatever he may have, and study the conditions that are present. This may be wrongs of the circulation, of the nervous system, of the secretions, of digestion, of assimilation, or wrongs of the blood, but whatever the basal lesion, it must be overcome if the patient is to be benefited by medication." - Introduction

-Michael Moore.

We get another classic text, courtesy of Michael Moore, both as .html files (on my site) and as .pdf files (on his site). Thank you, Michael!

This one focuses on Therapeutics instead of Materia Medica. Remember, there weren't any antibiotics about in Thomas' times - some things are better remedied with a simple course of antibiotics, rather than herbs. For other things, this wholistic approach would be better.


The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.

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