[The Editors assume no responsibility for opinions expressed in this department.
To the Editor of The Homoeopathic Recorder:.
THE YOUNG MAN AND HOMOEOPATHY.
From the sidelines I have listened with mixed emotions to the discussion of the attitude we should take toward young men. These discussions have taken place at the last few meetings of the International Hahnemannian Association. Being very little of an orator I could not add much to the discussion at the time. Perhaps my remarks at this times will have little value because most of my associations have been with men twenty years or more my senior. It may be said that my views have been moulded by them and are therefore worthless when given as a young mans view- point. What I have to say is the result of trying to put myself in both the young mans shoes and into those of his elders, and it will be said with every effort of detachment from personal prejudice and former associations.
Of all of the professions, arts and trades, medicine needs an apprenticeship far more than the rest. Its dealings with life and health make such an apprenticeship imperative. This is superficially carried out by the state in requiring at least a year of internship. How futile this is to the young man when he is cast out on a trusting world with a head aching from gobs of theory and writers cramp from a year as a clinical clerk. Real medicine, like learning to swim, is taught to himself by himself in the school of experience. Every man desirous of practising medicine should be willing to undergo such a training.
It is said in the Association that we should and must attract young men to our membership. With this I heartily agree, but, I cannot agree with some of the methods proposed. In common with the race we have a strong desire to perpetuate the society. As parents in a line of generations it should be our desire to perpetuate the best qualities of our forbears and ourselves. A little mental eugenics would not be amiss in our plans for perpetuation. It is best for us that we make use of the mental eugenics voluntarily rather than to be compelled to later on. We do not want this Association to become like flypaper, attracting all sorts of men, regardless of their desires or abilities, and, like fly-paper, not be able to get rid of the bad flies.
The kind of flies bothers the fly-paper little, but at some future date the wrong kind of members might bother the Association much. If a man realizes that he is in the wrong pew and resigns his respect is maintained and the membership is saved the unpleasantness of asking him to go. A person bent on ruining the organization and refusing to resign could cause the members much unpleasant trouble. It is easier to take in a bad dollar than it is to get rid of it.
The taking in of anybody and everybody to full membership without previously having pretty good evidence of a heartfelt desire to learn about, practise and develop the principles of homoeopathy will only result in a sprawling and cumbersome society whose aims and principles will be like the bottom man in a football scrimmage hidden by too large a membership. The American Institute of Homoeopathy has tried this method and only x-ray and a strong imagination will uncover any vestige of homoeopathic principles remaining in its adipose paunch. To take a man into full membership and give him a voice in the guiding of our policies on a sudden conversion attested by great verbosity, by hearsay, and so on, is equal to the placing of the freshman class of a large university upon the latters Board of Trustees and Faulty.
Do not think for one moment that I expect everyone who is admitted to membership to be a second Hering or a second Lippe. He need not be as pure as ivory soap on coming in but he must show at least a desire to take a bath. This desire to learn and to uphold the principles is more important than a huge intellectual capacity. Intellects differ but a desire may be the common property of many men. A comparatively dull man with a compelling desire may far outstrip his more brilliant but aimless brother.
The things we most prize are the ones most difficult to gain. A man is far more proud of his F.A.C.P. or F.A.C.S. than he is of his fellowship and membership in the A.M.A. Why? Because he had to work like the Old Harry to get it. If membership is made too easy it is taken too lightly.
I would respectfully suggest that since we have no American College of Homoeopathic Physicians that we make a full membership in the International Hahnemannian Association equal to such a standing; that an associate membership be thrown wide open to those who care to join, this without censorship; that a certain period be set which must expire before he may apply for full membership; that he pass an examination by a board of censors before being admitted to such membership.
This will set up a goal to strive for and we should then be able to tell the sheep from the goats, at least as able as it is humanly possible. By making our meetings interesting and instructive enough we will increase the number of aspirants so that we will not have to hand out souvenirs and stick candy to get customers. Having worked hard to achieve this he will look long before throwing it away.
I may say that should the Association ever adopt the above suggestions, I, for one, stand willing and ready to resign at once, immediately thereupon I will make application to come up through the regular channels with the others. If I cannot get up the last grade I will still stand ready to go on as an associate member and pay my dues for the pleasure and benefit derived from attending the meetings – D.T. PULFORD.
ARE WE HOMOEOPATHS GETTING ANYWHERE?.
To the Editor of The Homoeopathic Recorder:.
Are we homoeopaths getting anywhere? If not, what is the reason? Are we as solidly situated as we were 40 years ago? Then we had a splendid start in these United States. Our ranks were composed of excellent, almost clear timber. We had excellent opportunities, firm adherents, both professional and lay; splendid, loyal institutions, in both colleges and hospitals; splendid unquestionable reputations; homoeopathy thoroughly recognized, both socially and legally; a brilliant future, and we were most highly respected. What has so-called modern medical science, wielded by so-called modern homoeopaths, done for homoeopathy or rather to it? Let us see!.
Today, our numbers have diminished from 16,000, mostly staunch, supporters, to a meager 8,000, who, in truth, have but a vague idea of the method they elect to espouse. The once solid, clear, seasoned timber has become decayed, ant-eaten, crumbling. Our honor and prestige lost and gone. Our once proud, flowering ranks reverted back to weeds. Dishonoured at home, and abroad. Our remaining institutions a mockery to homoeopathy. Its present representatives held up to scorn, and made to like it. We have traveled the road from the mightly bravery of Hahnemann to the cowardice of the modern homoeopath who must apologize for his homoeopathy (and most of the homoeopathy now practised needs to be apologized for). We dropped our trusty homoeopathic rifle at the sight of bare allopathic fists.
Would the immortal Hahnemann, or Boenninghausen, or Hering, etc., welcome us to their bosoms, could they be reincarnated and return to our midst? Would they rather not scorn us with a righteous indignation? Dont you think they would be mortally ashamed of us to be compelled to realize that we had neither the intelligence nor the desire to realize, retain, or defend the richest medical blessing ever given to man? How do you suppose they would feel to realize that all their efforts and sacrifices had been in vain? This, dear reader, is a serious matter. What shall we say, or do, at the final judgement to atone for our lack of intelligence, our apathy, even our down-right perverseness, and spinelessness in not defending and propagating the cause and method that was given to us with which to ease and eradicate human ills?.
What of the men who deliberately gained control of homoeopathy and its institutions in order to deliver it and its representatives, and its institutions into the hands of its enemies? What of the men who have destroyed most of its valuable means of intercourse, its journals? What of the men who insist in trying to discredit it, by persistently misleading the public about its supposed and imaginary “limitations”; men who, in truth, really know very little, if anything about it, men who are poorly equipped, if equipped at all, with either literature or sufficient drugs, to properly practise it, and who would show a greater degree of intelligence in the matter if they would occupy that time and effort in proving more drugs, thereby expanding its benign influence?.
We hear much of “modern homoeopathy” and “modern medical science” these days, and of their superior advantages also of other methods of medical treatment of equal value, but where are they and just what have they accomplished that is so superior? Just what are their advantages either to the patient, or to the intelligent physician? Have they lowered the death rate? or increased the number of radical cures of Hahnemannian homoeopathy? Has any physiologically applied drug shown a quicker and a more positive result than the indicated remedy? If so, I have had the misfortune, in my 47 years of practice, never to have seen it, and I have closely scanned every likely source.