STEREOTYPED MEDICAL THINKING
It is related in The Life of Hahnemann (Bartlett) Hahnemanns father gave his young son lessons in thinking. The children of today could well do with such lesson. We pride ourselves upon our wonderful school system. The educational standards of the United States and Canada are among the highest. In the primary schools the work is probably 90 percent memory exercise. In the secondary schools more thinking is required, but this is along a fixed pattern or groove set by the teacher who in turn is directed by the curriculum.
By the time the student reaches the university he has come to the point of accepting what is taught him without question or argument. His thinking has been done for him. He is supposed to think for himself, but a certain number of subjects must be covered in a given time, so he continues to follow the groove or pattern layed out in the curriculum and generally accepts every- thing in the curriculum and generally accepts everything in the text books as fact and does not question their authority. He has little time or inclination for free thinking.
If the progresses to the study of medicine, he learns about the structural essentials: cells, tissue, innervation, and circulation in the normal human. He studies the physiology of the normal human, and oft there are comparative studies as regards some of the lower animals. He studies the chemistry of the body in health and in some disease states; the changes in cell and tissues, innervation and circulation in diseased states. He studies these changes from the normal and classifies them under certain accepted disease names.
And when all this tremendous store of fact and theory is climaxed by graduation his perspective has become fixed. To him disease is a n entity distinct and separate from the patient; something to be diagnosed and treated by name as a distinct affliction which preys upon the victim.
Except for the so-called infectious or contagious disease he has little information to give as to why man is the host to these myriad afflictions. And may I add that his why, as regards the infectious and contagious disease, is sketchy. He talks about local and general immunity being high or low, and sensitiveness, but these are things which do not show under the microscope before an illness and are quite unpredictable. They have to do with life-our life force or dynamis, as Hahnemann frequently called it-that spirit like force which animates the body. How much is taught of this in the medical schools?
The student should be taught to think in terms of the suffering patient and not in terms of disease. How much more rational to be asked,”What is the homoeopathic approach to a patient suffering from symptoms commonly classed as pneumonia?” than to be asked, “What is your treatment of or what do you homoeopaths give for pneumonia?” Yet this last is always the approach from a regular physician when seeking common ground for comparison of the two systems.
There is no real allopathic philosophy. The student has no time or has never been taught to think. And when he has graduated there may be even less time, but there is always more prejudice.
We must never forger to treat the patient. To do this we must think about him and not about the name of his discovery.