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flict with the more pious and sacred obligations of professional ministration to the afflicted.
A social letter received from Dr. Penn, some time back, expresses the following noteworthy sentiment:
“I have endeavored ever since I commenced the study of medicine to learn all that I possibly could about the science by hard study and close application, assuming that a good physician is as badly needed here as in New York or London, and that a man may learn as much here as anywhere else, if he will only apply himself faithfully. I have tried as far as possible to master the primary branches of the science of medicine, believing that success in the practice depends largely upon accuracy and promptness in diagnosis. In order to keep familiar with the textbooks, I have endeavored as regularly as possible to have students in my office, which, by the way, I have found very beneficial. I have from time to time contributed articles on different subjects to the various medical periodicals, which I have found a very wholesome exercise, causing me to study closely the subjects upon which I have written, and thus in more or less degree keeping pace with the current medical knowledge of the time. I would advise all young physicians who aspire to eminence in their profession, to subscribe liberally to the leading medical periodicals, and not only read them closely, but frequently contribute to their columns.”
Dr. Penn has been a liberal contributor to the periodical literature of the profession, and has been relied upon by the various medical societies to which he has belonged for a liberal share of the intellectual pabulum that goes to make such organizations instructive and useful. He aided in the organization of the West Tennessee Medical Society—an association that did much for the profession of this part of the State during a number of years—and at one time was its
vice-president. He aided also in organizing the Gibson County Medical Society live association that is doing much for the local profession of that part of the country, and aids in maintaining its vitality by regular contributions and attendance.
Dr. Penn is now the president of our State Medical Society, an honor to which he is justly entitled—the highest within the gift of the medical profession of the State of Tennessee.
He will preside at the meeting in Knoxville on the 12th day of next month.
ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL.-The MONTHLY has always taken a deep interest in the welfare of this institution, as in all matters medical connected with our city, whether private or public. The growth of this hospital has been phenomenal, the wards having been crowded to their full capacity almost from the beginning. Nothing could have better shown than this the excellence of its management by the sisters and the ability and faithfulness of its medical and surgical staff. Under these circumstances, interference of any kind seems to us unwise in the extreme, and it was therefore with surprise and regret that we learned of the recent changes in the attending staff. We quite fail to see what the hospital authorities expected to gain by the step they have taken.
A not inconsiderable portion of the hospital revenue is derived from patients who occupy its private rooms, and yet the additions to the staff consist of men, some of whom are the proprietors of a private hospital, and the rest, with one exception, either associated with them in practice or in close connections otherwise. It is not to be supposed that these gentlemen will send pay patients to St. Joseph's, while rooms in their own hospital are empty. Furthermore, many influential members of the profession who have hitherto been in the habit of placing private patients in St. Joseph's Hospital will, in future, be chary of putting them in an institution which has become virtually an appendix to a private infirmary, and thus there may follow a curtailment of revenue.
Nor do we see by this change the hospital has added anything to the ability or influence of the staff. The members of the latter, as it stood before, were men of wide reputation who had, by professional work, hospital and otherwise, proven themselves men of ability. Their duty to the institution had, we feel assured, always been faithfully discharged, and yet, although no one of them had asked for an assistant, some had been required to accept associates whom they did not need; others have been given subordinate positions, one caused to resign, and others displaced without even the courtesy of an explanation or notification of any kind. To say the least, the treatment of these gentlemen, who had given their services to the hospital from its infancy, and under whom it had grown to its present proportions, was exceedingly unjust. But in addition to the unwisdom and injustice of the change it has also a ludicrous side, as seen in the appointment of an obstetrician to a hospital that receives no obstetrical cases.
To sum up, the whole proceeding but fairly illustrates the rapacity of the medical maw into which the institution has fallen. Just how the reorganization was effected is to us wholly a matter of conjecture, but it looks very much as if the devious methods of the ward politician and political heeler had been invoked by the new-comers in their thirst for medical preferment.
OUR PHOTOGRAVURES. — It is a common practice to laud those who have reached eminence in the profession, especially men who contributed largely to our knowledge in the various branches of the science, men who have written great works or have become great operators in the field of surgery. This is all well enough, it is proper, and the right thing to do. Yet in so doing it is not essential that we should neglect to record the histories of those who have by continuous labor, both physical and mental, made the local profession, or done much toward making it, what it is in their immediate vicinities. The profession as a whole is not made of a few great leaders, but of the “ toiling millions,” and each locality has its molder and leader. These men constitute the “bone
and sinew” of the great medical world. They work under many disadvantages. The physical taxation they are compelled to undergo is, indeed, quite enough for human tolerance, and yet they are forced to a mental strain in addition that must, if they do their whole duty, be all that the brain cells can tolerate also. These men give the profession of their localities its tone and its usefulness. They are the local founders of it, the local architects of it, and give it a cast that will be perpetuated by generations to follow. Should not their memories be preserved ? And, if preserved, will not their lives be an indelible example for future travelers in the same roadway?
The great author has his aids, his facilities for study and compilation, as well as the experience of subordinates at his command. The local practitioner, surgeon or gynecologist“ blazes the way,” and lays the foundation of a future local profession, and his success is due to his own unaided energy and devotion to the undertaking. It is to this class of great good men and noble pioneers that the Monthly is devoting a few pages.
MEMPHIS HOSPITAL MEDICAL COLLEGE.—The session which will close on the 30th of this month marks a rapid stride of the college toward the front of medical educational institutions in this country. More than 250 students have attended during the winter, and a graduating class of perhaps eighty will embellish the finale. I cannot but feel gratified with the good fortune of the school under my administration as its executive officer or dean, but a consciousness of overwork and the pressure of an exacting practice, journalistic duties and other business affairs will compel me to decline the position in future.
F. L. SIM.
PRONUNCIATION OF THE WORD “QUININE.”—A friend of ours, who has been unsettled in his mental attitude about this word, in consequence of consulting the various dictionaries, has fallen into the habit of pronouncing the term differently every other time he speaks it. Others there are who resort to the subterfuge of using quinia, which is really a confession
of incapacity in managing the difficulties of quinine. The Century Dictionary virtually dodges the word by giving three pronunciations. Apparently it gives preference to one which does not appear in Webster's Unabridged at all. The latter seems to insist on the full sound of “q” in both of its phonations. The late Mr. James Parton, in a biographical sketch of the Countess of Chinchon, the vice-regal dame of Peru, whose name is immortalized in connection with the powder of the bark of the tree of the realm now lost to Spain, tries to give the true derivation of the word. “The original Peruvian word” he has found in written language to be “ kina or quina, which has the sound of keena, with accent upon the first syllable, so given both by the natives and the Spaniards. Hence there is a reason for the common English pronunciation of the name, keneen. New England physicians appear to prefer the straightforward method of their own language and pronounce it as though it were an English or a Latin word. The reader may take his choice, for the dictionaries sanction both.” This testimony appears to settle for us the “k” sound of the initial consonant, but it would also forbid an accentuation of the final syllable. This latter usage is almost invariable with the authorities adopting the “k” initial sound. In the International Dictionary of Dr. Billings preference is given to the “q” sound, with the accent thrown upon the final syllable. Dr. Gould's New Dictionary authorizes the same consonantal sound with the accent on the penult. So that we have from four not very widely separated centers of lexicography at least six different pronunciations of the word—enough surely to be bewildering to the inquisitive practitioner. The weight of evidence seems to favor the “k” initial sound and the accent on the final syllable.- Editorial in Jour. A. M. A.
SALICYLATE OF LITHIA.—Dr. Vulpian states that salicylate of lithia is more efficacious than salicylate of soda in cases of acute and progressive subacute articular rheumatism. It also has some effect in chronic cases when a certain number of the joints are still deformed, swollen and painful.