Dispense Your Own Medicines.

Selected writings of John M. Scudder.

Dr. Scudder's teaching was largely responsible for the prevailing custom among Eclectic physicians of dispensing their own medicines. The small dose of representative medicines made this practice feasible and he contended that the workman (doctor) should be familiar with his tools (medicines). The greater safety, the insured quality, the saving of time and trouble, and the lessened cost to the sick were further arguments in its favor. It absolutely prevented substitution and kept the control of the case of sickness wholly in the hands of the attending physician, who alone should be responsible for the kind and quality of medicines administered to his patient.—Ed. Gleaner.

DISPENSE YOUR OWN MEDICINES.—In this connection I can not resist the inclination to repeat the old advice, "Dispense your own medicines." It is not only a personal satisfaction in knowing that the sick get what we wish, but it is a very great satisfaction to patient and family.

You have never felt the inconvenience of a prescription? The walk of two or three squares to a half mile, the slow waiting for the prescription to be filled, the tedious walk back before the sick could have relief? I recall a case of this kind, where a mother was obliged to leave her sick child to get medicine, and came back to find her child in convulsions and dying. I should have thought that that doctor would never have written another prescription, but he did not seem to mind it—it was not his child.

I have always carried my medicines, and it has been a continuous satisfaction. I have heard the expression from the sick time and again, "Doctor, I am so glad you carry your own medicine. I feel safer when you prepare it yourself."

It is so easy to prepare the medicine. A glass half full of water, five or ten drops of the tincture, a teaspoonful every hour. The patient is not nauseated by the thought of a nauseous mixture or powder. The child takes its medicine without objection, and learns to look upon the doctor as a friend, and not as the household devil used to frighten him when he is bad.—SCUDDER, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1888.

The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.