Mr. President and Members of the Lyceum:
I opened my office for the practice of medicine April 22, 1889. I well remember my first prescription in my new office. It was Lycopodium, given in the sixth centesimal because I had been told that Lyc. always worked better in the higher potencies. It was given on No. 30 pellets, a 2-dram vial. As the days went by, I became quite anxious as to the result of my prescription, but was surprised to learn that it had done all that could be desired.
A number of similar favorable results led me to think I was a pretty good prescriber; but my self-conceit would occasionally receive a knockout blow, when I encountered an apparently simple case–the remedy undeniably indicated–and only failure, for example, a case complaining of constipation–a perfect picture of Nux vomica 3x, then 2x, given for three months with no results; then going to an allopath for three months; then no treatment for three months; returning still a picture of Nux. Nux 3x was given without success. Then I remembered that I had read: “When the indicated remedy does not bring results go higher. So I went very high and gave Nux in the sixth cent., and in a week the patient came back saying that the first dose had helped her and she was almost well.
If “Similia Similibus Curantur” were all that there is to homoeopathy, why did the remedy in the 2x and 3x do no good while in sixth it cured?
Or why would a tuberculous lesion recover beautifully in one case and in another be followed by death, as if the indicated remedy had hastened the end?
Or, when a patient had improved to a marked degree after the first dose of the remedy, and when in my enthusiasm, I repeated the dose, why did the case relapse to a condition as bad as in the beginning and become incurable?
How is the physician to know when to repeat the remedy? And how know when to change the remedy?
How is the physician to know whether a case is curable or incurable? If incurable, how can the condition be palliated and soothed, so as to prolong the life, or at least produce a good degree of comfort during the remaining days?
What is the reason that after a dose of a well-selected remedy, one patient makes a rapid and permanent recovery, while another, under the same conditions, has a decided reaction?
Or, why should a patient, after taking the proper remedy, improve very rapidly for a day or two, and then without apparent cause, relapse into the former condition and go down to death?
What is the difference between an aggravation and a reaction from a remedy? Should the latter be antidoted? When and why?
What importance is to be attached to inherited tendencies?
What importance is to be attached, in later life, to a history of continued or recurrent disorders in childhood and youth–such as diarrhoea in infancy?
What is a suppression?
What is a palliation?
What is a cure?
What are the different kinds of symptoms and their relative values?
What do you mean when you say that the symptoms are going in the wrong direction?
To learn how to handle with confidence and certainty, these and a thousand other problems with which the physician comes face to face, was the incentive which led me to take this intensive course of study, and I was not disappointed. We received all that had been promised and more. I can never be grateful enough to Dr. Dienst and Dr. Gladwin for their instruction, and for the generous personal interest in the students, of all those connected with the American Foundation for Homoeopathy, Inc., and I heartily endorse the statement that it is well worth the time, money and effort of any physician, to take the course.