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Materia Medica and Therapeutics, including Preparations of the
Pharmacopæias of London, Edinburg, Dublin, and of the United States, with many new medicines. By J. FORBES RoYLE, M. D., F. R. S., Late of the Medical Staff of the Bengal army. Member of the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London; of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta; and the Royal Medical Society of Edinburg ; Prof.of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, King's College, London. Edited by JOSEPH Carson, M. D., Professor of Materia Medica in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy ; Member of the American Philosophical Society, &c. &c. With ninety eight illustrations. Philada., Lea & Blanchard, 1847.
The extensive opportunity for research in the domain of Materia Medica, which the author of the work before us has enjoyed by his India residence, and his connections with the medical staff of the Bengal army, and the scientific institutions of the eastern world, together with his reputation as a teacher of the science, is a sufficient reason for the publication of another work on Materia Medica. It contains 689 pages; is concise and systematic in its arrangement, and may be very conveniently studied. A notice of some of the laws and nomenclature of chemistry, with an account of the physiology, classification, and medical properties of plants, is introduced into the work, and at the end of every article are arranged brief paragraphs treating of the action, uses, incompatibilities, and doses, so that the reader may see at a glance to what class of remedies any particular medicine belongs, &c., &c. Another convenient and useful arrangement, which we do not recollect to have seen before, is a classification in tabular form of all those remedies which may be used for the same therapeutical purposes, with observations of the author appended. The indigenous Materia Medica of the United States, is faithfully noticed by the American editor, which, together with the numerous plates, adds greatly to the value of the book.
NEW JERSEY MEDICAL REPORTER.
BURLINGTON, TENTH MONTH, (OCTOBER,) 1847.
We present to our friends the first number of the New Jersey Medical Reporter. They were promised in the prospectus fiftysix pages, we have given them eighty-four, and intend to make the subsequent numbers no less, so that every subscriber may have at the end of the year a neat volume of three hundred and thirty-six pages for binding. It is without the anticipation of pecuniary reward, that we enter upon the task of publishing this journal; but since our connexion with the profession, we have felt the need of some organ by which the Society may declare its proceedings to the great body of physicians who have not the opportunity of attending its meetings, and who receive only a brief and imperfect abstract of them through some half dozen newspapers of the State. Nor should we have undertaken the duties of our present position, had we not been stimulated to the work by the favourable action of the Society at its late annual meeting, as set forth in the resolutions which form a part of its official proceedings. The medical profession of New Jersey maintains an organization which is believed to be unsurpassed, if equalled, in any other State, for its efficiency and influence. Established by the voluntary association of fourteen physicians in the year 1766, it has since that period been adding to its numbers and strength, until it has acquired a position and reputation among the institutions of our State, which claim for its transactions respect and confidence. In 1816, the Society received a charter from the Legislature, and we proceed to give a very brief outline of its leading provisions.
It authorizes the “ New Jersey Medical Society” to “ appoint five licensed physicians or surgeons,” practitioners and residents in each or any county in this State, “10 form themselves into District Societies, which are also constituted bodies politic and
corporate in law;" these are represented by equal delegations in the State Society, at the annual meeting, when four censors are appointed for each county represented, whose duty it becomes to examine applicants for a license to practise “physic and surgery.” Said censors are required to satisfy themselves before proceeding to an examination, that the applicant is twenty-one years of age, and has studied under the "preceptorship of a regular practising physician or surgeon,” for the term of four years, and that he has attended one course of medical lectures, or that he has studied three years and obtained a diploma from a college; and if said applicant shall be “ adjudged to be duly qualified to commence practice,” he is furnished with a certificate of the fact from the Board of Censors, “which certificate, when presented to the President of the Medical Society of New Jersey, shall authorize and empower him to grant a license under his hand, and the seal of the Society;"
(6 for which the said president shall be authorized to demand and receive from the person so licensed, a sum not exceeding fifteen dollars, to be appropriated in such manner as the members of said Society shall order and direct.” It is also made obligatory upon those who undertake to teach the profession to others,” to file a certificate with the Secretary of any of the Medical Societies of the Staté, setting forth the time when the pupil commenced his term of study, the period of filing such certificate to be considered the beginning of his office instruction.
This is briefly the substance of the charter under which the Medical Society and its subordinate branches now exist. It will be the principal object of the New Jersey Reporter to furnish full accounts of its proceedings, the number and names of licentiates admitted at different times, with such of its ancient records as may be placed at our disposal. In addition to the Transactions of the State Society, we expect to make public such valuable papers as may be the property of the District Societies, and to furnish a medium for original communications ;
We also propose to lay before our subscribers in the Eclectic department of this journal, a general summary of medical science, such as may be obtained from the various kindred periodicals of this country and Europe. What may remain of space in our pages, will be occupied with Editorial and Bibliographical notices. In conclusion, we invite the cooperation of every physician in New Jersey in our humble efforts to establish and support this journal. For ourselves we enter upon the work without experience in such undertakings, and were it not for the aid we anticipate from our brethren, we should hesitate to assume the duties of an Editor: we can only promise to do our part with fidelity, and to them we look for co-operation and support.
THE ENSUING SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING. The next meeting of the New Jersey Medical Society is to be held in this city; the means of access are numerous and convenient, and we hope there will be a large attendance. We have often regretted that the semi-annual meetings are so small. In order to inspire the confidence and support of physicians in different parts of the State, it is usual to hold these meetings in the several towns that are readily accessible to its members, while the annual meetings are (by law) held at New Brunswick. For this single reason, if there were none more weighty, an effort should be made to increase their interest. The amount of business which must necessarily be done at the annual meetings, precludes the opportunity for more deliberative proceedings; and we submit it to the profession, whether these occasions might not be more profitably employed by discussing subjects which are not so intimately connected with the executive duties of the Society. Would it not be well to institute committees on the Practice of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics, &c. &c., the reports of which should embrace accounts of various improvements in these several departments ? Let these be read at the semi-annual meetings, and they could not fail to increase the usefulness of the Society, and advance the science for the promotion of which it was instituted. The approaching meeting will be one of the
most important that has been held for many years, partly because the present era is one of more than usual importance to the science of medicine, and because the National Medical Convention has adopted a course (which the New Jersey Medical Society will no doubt feel bound to sustain by appropriate action,) with reference to procuring from the several State governments, such legislation as will secure the registration of births, marriages and deaths, within their respective limits; the value of such a measure is ably set forth in the address of the Convention, which will be found in our Ecletic department.
We may add, however, that Virginia is already moving in the work, and that there is good reason to believe that her example will be followed throughout the country. The experiment has been tried in Massachusetts and New York, and so far as we can learn, it has proved successful. In New York, each school district is made a registration district, and the duty of collecting the returns from these, rests with the school trustees, by whom they are transmitted to the Secretary of State, through the County Clerk. It is a question whether this duty ought not to belong to the profession; let one physician be appointed in each township, by the County Court, or other competent authority, so as to have the work in the hands of those who are more directly interested in it, and who really possess more intelligence upon the subject than can generally be expected of others. We throw out these hints for consideration before the meeting arrives, when it will be necessary to take some action in the premises.
The grave questions which are submitted by the Standing Committee, for the consideration of the next meeting, will also add much to the interest of its deliberations. How far those licentiates who have given themselves over to systems of prac.ice which are at variance with sound philosophy and experience, should be recognized by the profession, is one of these questions. The other is, to what extent physicians can“ humor the prejudices of patients and their friends in favour of false systems of practice without forfeiture of professional standing. We are glad these queries have been suggested by the committee, and we