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Come not to gaze about the wards with idle curiosity. But rather, come like philosophers, with all your faculties awake, for examining, comparing, judging, and thinking for yourselves; and working, too, for yourselves, at every opportunity.
Pick out your own cases, and study these, and note these for yourselves. Do not attempt to listen to all that is said with the view of remembering it but listen well to what is said of the cases on your own list, and see if it be true. Attempt not too much.
Do not fall into the peurile fondness of hunting after strange sights, rare diseases, and great cases. The dressing of an ulcer, the setting of a bone, the creatment of a pleurisy, preumonia, or fever,—these, and such as these, should be your study here. Striking cases you may look at; but the business that should fix your attention, is that which best prepares you for the daily business of the profession.
Finally, avoid that morbid appetite for surgical operations, so long magnified and so much over-rated. Surgery is a good thing, a useful, an excellent thing in its way; but too much of it is a great evil. And the sooner you find out this for yourselves, the better for your patients. p. 19.
Dr. Bullitt's lecture is his maiden effort at the Saint Louis Uni. versity. It contains much that is interesting and generally well expressed. “My primary allegiance,” he remarks, “is to the general cause of medical science, and then to the cause of the medical department of the Saint Louis University ;” and he expresses to his class a hope, that he may be able so to discharge the duties of teacher in the institution, as to make his “labours tributary to the common good of our common calling.” Such we have little doubt will be the case.
We had marked one or two passages for extract and comment, but we cannot find space for them. This same circumstance will prevent us from giving more than a passing notice of the other introductories before us.
The lecture of Dr. Harrison inquires into the obligations of the medical profession to society, and the obligations of the public to the medical profession; and is an interesting discourse.
That of Dr. Patterson indicates a cultivated intellect. The style is vigorous, tinctured somewhat with the German, and perhaps with Carlylism, which we abhor; but it is never mystical, and always sententious.
The lectures of Dr. Huston and Dr. Meigs were delivered before the class of Jefferson Medical College-the largest, we may add, that has ever attended medical lectures in this country; and therefore sufficient to inspire the learned professors with unwonted energy. Dr. Huston's discourse is a scorching and able disclosure of Hahnemannism, clearly expressed--and it ought to convince all, who are susceptible of conviction, that the whole infinitesimal system is founded on folly, and too often practised in imposture.
The discourse of Dr. Meigs is full of the fire and enthusiasm which have ever characterized him. “I acknowledge” he says, " that I am an enthusiastic admirer of my profession. My speech shows it, and my whole past life is a perpetual proof of it. But I love that profession as a ministry, not as a trade.”
The following observations on what has been sarcastically termed “book learning,” or “ book knowledge," from one who is so eminent in the practical exercise of his calling, are a satisfactory answer to those ignoramuses who pretend to despise books.
“ Gentlemen, no man can study medicine by himself. He must have help and that help comes from books. I never could have learned why I ought to do thus and so, to keep a lady patieut from bleeding to death, or from perishing with convul. sions, out of my own primary independent observation and reflection. If I have done so, I thank the fathers, as I thank every good man—whether Greek or Roman, Arabian or Europeanwho in ages past has put upon record the things that have been observed in medicine, and if I know those things I owe that knowledge to them; I could never have learned it of myself. Therefore, I love books. I think there is no good physician without their aid-nor can be hone. Instead of disparaging books and authors, I would rather glorify and honour them when meritorious.” p. 8.
The lectures of Professors Bedford and Gilbert are strictly introductory to their courses. We would remind the former, who says, that "“ Doctor Robert Lee, of London, has recently made some valuable contributions on the subject of the nerves of the uterus,"—that the nerves depicted by Dr. Lee have, by a still more recent observer-Mr. Beck-whose memoir has received a medal from the Royal Society of London-been affirmed to be no nerves at all.
From a reniark by Dr. Gilbert, Dr. Watson will find that the Professor of Surgery in the Pennsylvania Medical College has no objection to surgical cases being brought before a class, which is all that is done in the regular “school clinics.”
“Without pretending for a moment,” he says, “ to present, in addition to the regular course, an adequate surgical clinic, whenever the character of the case, however, and other circumstances are such as to render it compatible with the feelings and general advantage of the patient, I will present to the class as much practical surgery as can, with propriety, be brought before them. The experience of the two last sessions warrants me in saying to you, that cases of this kind may be expected; which, with the ample surgical and medical clinics of that time-honored institution, the Pennsylvania Hospital, will afford you clinical facilities equal and we believe superior to those of any school in the country.” [!!]
Lastly. It is not many years since the excellent institutionthe Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, which has done, and is still doing, so much to elevate the professional character of the dentist-was chartered by the State of Maryland ; and already many interesting and useful productions have emanated from it. The lecture of Dr. Westcott may be esteemed one of these. It canvasses whether “dental colleges possess peculiar advantages over any other means of securing a dental education"-determining the question—as might be expected-in the affirmative, and we are not disposed to cavil at the decision.
We are pleased, to observe, that extensive, general, and professional attainments are urged as indispensable to make up the character of an accomplished dentist. Whilst manual dexterity is important, it is wisely maintained, that the operator should be a well-educated gentleman, and that a knowledge of every branch of medical science should enter into the list of his evidences of fitness to do credit to himself, to the avocation which he has embraced, and to the community, .
A Practical Treatise on Inflammation, Ulceration, and In
duration of the Neck of the Uterus: with remarks on the value of Leucorrhæa and Prolapsus Uteri as symptoms of Uterine Disease. By JAMES HENRY BENNET, M.D., etc. etc, 12mo. pp. 146. Lea & Blanchard.
Lea & Blanchard. Philadelphia, 1847. The basis of the present work was submitted by the author, a few years since, to the Faculty of Medicine of Paris as a thesis, on his graduating in that University. Subsequently, more elaborated, the essay was published, in parts, in the London Lancet; and afterwards in a yet more extended form, as a separate publication, of which the present is a reprint.
From the brief autobiography given in the Preface, we learn that the author spent seven years in the Saint Louis, La Pitié, and Salpetrière Hospitals of Paris, first as pupil, and then as “interne" or resident physician.
“Under such circumstances," says the author, “I cannot, certainly, be reproached with not having matured my opinions. In the first instance, they were formed after I had long enjoyed very great opportunities of seeing uterine disease. They have since been considered over and over again, and have stood the test of several years additional experience.'
“ Some of the views which I bring forward wili, I believe, be found original,—at least, if I can trust the results of my bibliographical researches. I have also many details of great interest and importance to present, with reference to the various modes of treatment in inflammation, ulceration, and induration of the uterine neck adopted by the Paris physicians and surgeons-details which will, i believe, be new to most of my readers. Having carefully watched, during a great length of time, the effects of the treatment followed by the eminent Parisian practitioners, with whom the knowledge of this form of disease recently originated, and that under the most favourable circumstances—as their pupil or assistant, I have been able, I hope, to form a correct estimate of the comparative value of the different agents they employ. I have thus, I am also inclined to think, learnt how to avoid the exclusiveness which most of them show in the choice of their therapeutic agents.”
One can scarcely repress a smile at the confidence with which many of the young members of our profession'express their opinions, after a residence of a few years, or as it some
times happens, of a few months, in Paris, and of which the preceding extract is no very bad example. The natural enthusiasm of youth, operated upon by the example and habits common, to a great extent, in the French metropolis, are perhaps a sufficient apology for this self-complacency, until time chastens the one, and better example corrects the other.
We have looked through Dr. Bennet's brochure with some interest to find the original" views which he deems so important without discovering them, although we have found much in it to approve, and we are inclined to think that his “bibliographical researches” have not been remarkably extensive, even among Parisian authors, to say nothing of British and German.
The subjects embraced in this treatise are of great importance, and we regrèt to say, generally too little understood by those entrusted with the treatment of such complaints; this, rather than any novelties contained in the book, or that we have to offer, claims from us more than a passing notice.
The author asserts that inflammation of the neck of the uterus, with its sequelæ, ulceration and induration, “is an exceedingly common affection”-and “is the principal cause, also, of several morbid states which are generally, if not always, studied independently of any such origin; as, for instance, prolapsus of the uterus and leucorrhæa.”
That inflammation of the neck “is the principal cause” of prolapse of the uterus, is not very clear to our mind, but that it is often mistaken and treated for the latter affection, we know from abundant experience—no mistake indeed is more common.
“With reference to leucorrhea,” says the author, “indeed, I have ascertained, to my complete satisfaction-firstly, that, set. ting aside cancerous disease, in the very great majority of adult females who have been exposed to sexual intercourse, a confirmed leucorrhæal discharge, whatever may be its nature, is accompanied by inflammation of the neck of the uterus; secondly, that this inflammation seldom exists long without producing ulceration; and, thirdly, that ulceration is always accompanied by more or less engorgement (swelling, with or without induration) of the substance of the uterine neck."
We have no doubt of the correctness of these propositions ; they are true as far as they go; but they do not go far enough,