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states his proposition and lays down his terms. Here they are: Articles—a sample is attached to the first letter addressed to a physician-are to be prepared by the “ethical news service" and submitted to the subscribing physician, who is to offer it for publication in a local newspaper. If it is accepted and printed, the physician-whose name, by the way, is mentioned at least once in every paragraph of the article—is to send his check for $15 to the director of the “ethical news service."
One of the advertising articles is before us. It is remarkable for its inaccuracy and for its unethicalness, even though it was prepared by the director himself of the "ethical news service." The opening paragraph is as follows: Diabetes is the real foot and mouth disease, according to Dr.
of this city. Practically one fourth of all deaths from this disease are the result of gangrene having its origin in some form of unclean feet or injury to the lower limbs, he says.
That advertisement published in the name of a local physician in his home paper, might identify him as a crusader in a campaign for cleaner feet in his community, but it probably would not identify him in the minds of other physicians as a scintillating star in the scientific firmament. Neither would it make any very great appeal to that element of the general population-diabetics or not—who have made a practice of keeping their feet reasonably clean.
The physician that "falls for" the scheme of the "ethical news service" or any other similar scheme will surely stamp himself as one who is anything but ethical.
The only advertising that will redound to the professional credit of the physician is that which he does not do, but which he gets, and which he cannot keep from getting as the result of efficiency in the practice of his profession in a professional manner.
BIOLOGY POINTS THE WAY OUT Perhaps the greatest difficulty we have in using intelligence to control our individual or collective conduct comes from the deeply ingrained mental reactions of tabus, fears, prejudices and superstitions. Science and learning have outpaced our populace. Astronomy is accompanied by its popular imitation astrology, medicine has its great shadow land of buncombe, deceit and plausib foolishness and chicanery. Graveyards still give moonlight visitors the shudders. Even the wife of a university president has to be careful not to seat thirteen at the table. and Friday is a day of sinister import if used for the initiation of journeys or new enterprises. One would think that a sense of humor alone would keep our fellow citizens from thinking it possible that the stars in their courses were interested in the welfare of their livers and the success of their love affairs, but it takes time and much education to cultivate more than the surface of the ordinary human mind.
One of the greatest contributions to our welfare has been the removal of actual knowledge of many of our fears of the unknown. The microscope has taken the mystery out of the transmission of diseases, and diseases are an age old horror of all humans. We see now that in most diseases the body is serving as host for minute living parasitic organisms of various kinds. To control their lives is to control disease. Biology points the way out. We need no evil eye or demons or even sin for our explanation. Here, as in all of our environment, trained human curiosity is constantly discovering great dependable fundamental natural laws. The interactions of the innumerable cells of the body and the fluids in which they are bathed are carried out in harmony with immutable principles as definite as are those controlling the movements of the celestial bodies. Yet in no phase of human life is prejudice more potent. The will to believe what one wants to believe goes hand in hand with the will to be deceived by those who
profit by deceit. Credulity is one of the most lovable and yet the most dangerous of our human traits, particularly when it helps us to maintain some of our inherited but unfortunate prejudices.
Throughout much of the education of our young we have filled their minds with fairy tales and legends and the antics of rather unpleasant gods and goddesses. A considerable part of our so-called cultural education is about as genuine as Santa Claus. We still have crops of college graduates who have never learned a fact first hand in the laboratory or in the field. An adaption of the new scientific law of culture with its requirement of industry, imagination and solid mental processes, so that art and beauty will have a large place, will and must do more for our young than the old humanistic culture. Much of our modern literature, while successful financially, is written by literary quacks who prey on the passions and prejudices of folk for their fees. There is a world of romance in plant and animal life and in an honest study of each other and of our environment. Seeing things as they really are so far as we can determine them is a thoroughly wholesome mental process, and much better than to feel the emotional stirs of the vapid novel or to suffer under the grotesque glycerin tears of the movies.
When our young are trained to use the processes of intelligence in making decisions instead of accepting the almost imperious dictates of fear, prejudice, emotion and passion, which well up in us as simple reactions to strong impressions on our nervous systems, we can begin to attack such major difficulties as race prejudice and war, and to find readier solutions in public health and in economic and political life.-From the University Day Address delivered by Ray Lyman Wilbur at the University of Pennsylvania, February, 1925.
INDIANA-MONTOUR Two errors crept—all errors creep-into the March BULLETIN. We are duly sorry, offer none of the very many excuses that suggest themselves, and herewith make the necessary corrections.
The "program contest” described on page 84 of the BULLETIN for March is being put on by the Lake County Medical Society of Indiana—not Illinois. We commend the plan to every Lake county in every state—there are lots of them.
The item at the bottom of page 87 in the same issue credited to the “Montana” Bulletin should have been credited to the Bulletin of the Montour County (Pa.) Medical Society. But if there is a Montana county anywhere, we recommend that the item above referred to be read by all of the inactive members of its county medical society.
IMPOSTORS Two men, under the names John T. Alger and Roy Moss, have been fraudulently soliciting subscriptions for publications of the American Medical Association. When last heard of they were in Louisiana. Moss is said to have but one arm and to claim to be a veteran of the World War. Alger is apparently about 30 years old.
Authorized solicitors for the Association's publications are all provided with proper credentials signed by the Secretary and General Manager. Physicians or others who are approached by persons representing themselves to be agents of the Association should ask to see such credentials. Information concerning unauthorized solicitors should be sent as promptly as possible to the Association so that it can be used for the apprehension of such impostors.
OFFICIAL AUTO EMBLEM NOW READY An announcement was made in the last issue of the BULLETIN regarding plans for an official auto emblem of copyrighted design for A. M. A. members only and numbered so that each sale might be individually registered.
All the details involved in the manufacture of such an emblem have been completed, and orders for the official emblem at $1.50 can be filled beginning May 1. The emblem will be sold only to members of the A. M. A. A member is a physician who is in good standing in his county and state medical societies, so the user of this new official emblem will be distinguished as such. The quack, the cultist and the pseudoscientific poseur are automatically eliminated from membership in the A. M. A. whenever due care is exercised by the county society in selecting its members.
As indicated by the illustration, the central figure of the new emblem is the knotty rod and serpent of Aesculapius flanked by the unmistakable initials "M. D."
These insignia are of bright 14-K gold plated gildine, and stand in bright contrast against the crimson enamel background. About the center disk is a band of white enamel and on it the suggestion of a green cross. Scarlet and gold have always been regarded as medical colors since the days when the physicians in the king's retinue wore a scarlet cloak to distinguish them from members of other professions. The gold symbolizes the sun, anciently regarded as having a definite influence over disease. The knotty rod and serpent of Aesculapius is the true ancestral symbol of the healing art. The letters “M. D.,” indicating the degree of doctor of medicine, are unmistakably the mark of the physician, and the green cross is recognized in many sections of the country as indicative of medical aid. So, in every way the design of the official A. M. A. auto emblem is correctly symbolic and will, in time, be recognized by the public as one indication that its user is an ethical physician.
The emblem is worked out in hard, glossy enamel and shining gildine metal plated with 14-K gold. The emblem number appears in the small panel
. The actual diameter is 32 inches. It fastens to the radiator by soft wires passed through honeycomb and twisted in back. Numbers will be assigned in the sequence in which orders are received.
SOME COMMENTS ON THE PACKAGE LIBRARY A notice concerning the package library service of the American Medical Association in the BULLETIN for January, produced an almost overwhelming number of requests for packages. The list of subjects on which information was wanted was a long one. A number of requests were for packages containing information concerning medical organization and its history. Others were for packages dealing with strictly scientific subjects and covered a wide range. For some of these packages had not been prepared, but such material as was available was gotten together and sent to those asking for it.
The package library service, like the Kentucky negro's master, is "young yet,” and so is not perfect; but it is developing and will improve as time goes on. It is offered not as a perfect service, but as what is now available. Material is being constantly collected and every individual package will be added to and made better as rapidly as can be done. The number of packages on any one subject is, of course, limited, which explains why it is that occasionally a request cannot be immediately responded to. Ten physicians may send in requests simultaneously for the same package; naturally, some of them must wait a little while, but all will be served as soon as possible. It is important that those who receive packages should return them promptly at the end of the loan period, so they may be available for others. Two or three times packages have been passed on from the physicians who asked for them to one or more others who were interested, and so have been held out for days after the loan period had expired. Since the sole idea behind this service has been that of doing something helpful for the members of the Association, no strenuous objection has been raised when the packages have been thus passed on; but it is to be remembered that there may be other requests for these waiting to be filled.
This service is for any and for all of the Association's members, but is primarily for those who have no library facilities at hand. It will be enlarged and made better as fast as may be done. A nominal charge—twenty-five cents-is made for each package. This is not enough to pay the required postage on many of them, especially since the postal rates have been increased. Requests for packages should be addressed “Library, American Medical Association, 535 N. Dearborn St., Chicago."
Here are a few extracts from letters received by those who have had packages :
"I found a lot of good material and you are to be complimented for this valuable service, which is a great time saver to your subscribers."
“This is a splendid service and of great benefit to members looking up some special subject."
"I appreciate very much your kindness in sending me this material, as it covered the subjects very thoroughly.”
"Have mailed under separate cover a package library on ‘acute hemorrhagic nephritisk this date. Thanks a thousand times—it was a great help."
"Wish to thank you very much for your kindness and promptness in sending this material to me. Your package library is surely a wonderful help to doctors.”
“Delighted with library package.'
"I received the material you sent me, and it surely has helped me in my work. The pamphlets were the exact references I wanted.”
"I am returning, under separate cover, the package library on renal diabetes. The service was splendid."
“Under separate cover am mailing package library on massive collapse of lungs. The literature was exactly what I wanted. Please accept my thanks."
"L" wish to thank you for the package of material you sent me on the tobacco question. It was just exactly what I wanted, and the public presentation I made on the subject was made a success with the assistance of the material you sent."
“I am returning by this mail the library package on tuberculosis peritonitis. I thank you very much for this valuable service. In this work you are doing the medical profession a valuable service.”
“I am returning tonight package on thyroid disease. I am now not afraid to join in on a conversation about this subject. The package library is certainly a great help to those, like myself, situated far from a library. Its existence should have greater publicity. I intend to avail myself of the privilege of its use often."
“I thank you very much for the material you sent me. It is a great service you are doing for physicians isolated like I am."
Published Monthly, except July, August and September, by the American Medical Association, 535 North Dearborn Street, Chicago. Annual Subscription, 50 Cents.
EDITORIAL STAFF Editor, OLIN WEST, Secretary. Associate Editor, FREDERICK C. WARNSHUIS, Speaker
of the House of Delegates
Entered as second-class matter, July 13, 1920, at the postoffice at Chicago, Ill., under the Act of
Aug. 24, 1912. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for
in Section 1103, Act of Oct. 3, 1917, authorized Aug. 13, 1920.
TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE The letter of Mr. Thomas R. Shipp, Washington, D. C., printed in the BULLETIN for April has attracted widespread attention. Numerous letters have been received from Fellows of the Association endorsing Mr. Shipp's suggestion that a memorial to the "old country doctor" be erected in Washington. The first letter received was accompanied by a remittance to be used in heading a fund for the purpose indicated. The money was, of course, returned to the generous donor because none has been authorized to accept such donations.
One letter, from a Fellow in Alabama who must appreciate a good horse, contained a picture of the statue of Justin Morgan, the model horse of all the equines known as “Morgans.” The suggestion is offered that the proposed memorial be a statue representing the pioneer physician, with his saddle bags, mounted on a statue of this pioneer horse.
A country doctor in New Hampshire seems to approve Mr. Shipp's idea, but evidently has small faith that it will be carried out, for he winds up his letter thus: “I suggest that we (country doctors) each buy a large and beautiful bouquet and, standing before a looking-glass, each present the same to himself with an appropriate speech. This will carry ou; the idea.”
After all, it may be doubted that bronze or stone could be fashioned that would add to the prestige of the faithful physician of the olden time. He was enshrined in the hearts of those who knew him and to whom he ministered. And, by the same token, so is the faithful physician of this present time.