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In getting at the real facts in the case I feel that we organization in 1892, has been a high-entrance-requiremust bear in mind the increasing proportion of students ment college, and has refused admission, each year, to who come to the colleges of pharmacy directly from an average of 40 per cent of the applicants, because grammar, high, or literary schools. Many of them of their lack of academic training. About one-half enter pharmacy as a preliminary step to the study of of those rejected continue their academic studies, and medicine. All of this class of students are among those enter when they possess the necessary qualifications. better prepared for the study of pharmacy. Thus the The other half are mostly young men who have been in question of preliminary education is gradually solving drug stores for a time, and these, as far as can be asceritself. It is not likely, however, that the time will ever tained, do not continue their preliminary studies, but come when colleges of pharmacy will cease to draw stu- usually pass the State board in due time. In other dents from the retail drug store, so we should look care words, the matriculants direct from high-schools, the fully to that door of entrance to the college. I believe majority, are superior in intelligence and general fitness that it is the province and duty of pharmacy laws to to those whom the pharmacists send. It seems to me regulate drug-store apprenticeship. It prospective ap- the time to restrict incompetents is when they desire to enter prentices were obliged to pass an examination in the the profession-the pharmacists are as a rule at this front fundamental branches of an English education before door and those whom they let in usually remain in. As it being recognized as apprentices the question of pre- is now the boards do not see these young men until liminary education would be practically settled.
they have been in the profession for at least two years; The time is evidently coming, and at no far distant and then they are less likely to retire than they would day, when the State pharmacy laws will recognize, as have been had the pharmacists, in the first instance, properly qualified applicants for registration, only those refused to engage them until they had acquired a suffiwho have successfully passed through a college-of-phar- cient preliminary education. macy training. The college diploma will signify that the You say “The requirement of a high-school educacandidate is qualified to apply for examination, and the tion, plus two years of practical experience subsequently result of the ordeal will determine whether or not his acquired, is at the present time the iridescent dream of college training has been of such a nature, and his appli- a hopeless ideal.” I cannot agree with you in this cation sufficiently thorough, to admit him to registration opinion. A number of colleges are now, and have for as a qualified pharmacist.
a number of years past, demonstrated that young men I am not one of those who believe that all of the are willing to pursue a high-school course, or an equivashortcomings in the pharmaceutical profession can be lent, before entering upon the study of pharmacy. laid at the door of the colleges of pharmacy, on account You say further, “We shall be well content to see of their admitting to matriculation applicants whom the all the colleges unite in demanding a sound grammarteachers would greatly desire to see better qualified in school course or its equivalent, with special stress on a the rudiments of education. While I recognize the thorough grounding in arithmetic, spelling, reading, and value of this previous training, I feel that we are writing.” I would regard an agreement on such a low given to looking at it from a theoretical rather than standard as very unfortunate, and I would not be a party a practical point of view, forgetting that many young to it. In my opinion it would cast an odium upon the men of limited qualifications make good use of their calling that would be worse than the present deplorable time during the two or more years in college, and condition. I would hold out for a full high-school graduate better qualified in general education as well training or an equivalent. as in pharmacy than some of those who enter with much Every one informed on the subject of your editorial literary education to their credit.
will agree with you that reforms are necessary in many St. Louis, November 6.
colleges, but the fact should not be overlooked that
reforms outside of them are at least as obligatory and FREDERICK J. WULLINO, Ph.D., LL.M., F.C.Sc., necessary. I am of the conviction that many colleges Dean, Department of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota.
are unjustly charged with mercenary motives. There
is no doubt in my mind, whatever, that the calling is I think you do not give sufficient credit to the state
better off by far with them than without them. ment, which you quote a number of colleges as making, to the effect that those pharmacists are debauching their
Minneapolis, November 7. calling who engage uneducated lads, thus opening up to them the possibility and privilege of becoming so
E. H. SARGENT, Ph.M. called pharmacists ultimately.
Perhaps I may be pardoned for referring to experi. Your criticism of prevailing methods of the colleges ence that bears upon this point. The College of of pharmacy, in the November BULLETIN, seems to me Pharmacy of the University of Minnesota, since its just, and ought to be of interest to those who are inter
ested in the education of pharmacists. That you place a large share of responsibility for the inadequate educa. tion of the modern drug clerk upon the college methods of the present day is not surprising, in view of the keen competition for so-called students which is shown in the exploiting of unusual inducements to young men incapable of reasoning as to their merits, who are made to believe it is but necessary to seek a college of pharmacy to become proficient in a calling that once was one of the most important and honored in the land.
It is a fact, as you intimate, that the colleges are to-day too largely filled with incompetents, who are unable to receive and profit by the instruction lavishly bestowed upon them by faithful teachers. But it must not be supposed that all the boys entering the college of pharmacy are of the illiterate type. A good proportion, not a majority, however, are bright young men who would be a credit to any school, and who deserve better surroundings. It is a rank injustice to such men to oblige them to receive instruction with a crowd of ignorant dullards.
The possibilities for the bright minority are curtailed by the presence of the weak majority, and in the interest of honest college administration this deplorable condition of affairs should be at once remedied. The obvious remedy is to shut the door of the college to the incompetent, and, as you suggest, to insist upon a better common-school education before admission to the college can be attained. “A sound grammar-school course, or its equivalent, with special stress on a thorough grounding in arithmetic, spelling, reading, and writing”. —nothing less-should be demanded, and a careful inquest should be made to ascertain if the candidate can satisfy these requirements. This is not less due to the unfit applicant than to the college; each will be bene. fited by the “closed door."
I would make another suggestion. It seems to me important if not absolutely essential that the student, in order to acquire adequate benefit from the instruction given, should have a previous experience in a well conducted drug store. He would then be in a position to better understand and absorb the not altogether simple teaching he is to receive. We must not forget that ours is largely a technical occupation; that hands must be educated as well as the head, so that both may work together intelligently.
Much could be written to illustrate the importance, and the personal value to the drug clerk, of a thoroughly sound, usable knowledge of his business, even upon a money basis; not to speak of a higher value as an expert in a necessary professional calling.
I hope your valued effort for better college methods will not be in vain, and that you will continue the crusade until real reform is reached.
Chicago, November 8.
F. W. E. STEDEM, Ph.G. I have been very much interested in the editorial in the November number, entitled, “This is the Least that the Colleges Owe to Pharmacy.” A matter of such importance should not pass unnoticed. Colleges and employers have been entirely too careless in times past, and even at the present, in the selection of material for apprentices. Many plans have been suggested at various times whereby the difficulties might be overcome, but it seems to me that none of them are practical. I believe that the best method to adopt would be to require the apprentice to spend at least one year in the school of pharmacy before doing any store work at all, and that the school should a the school should accept as students only such individuals as can either pass an actual graded examination or bring proof in the way of diplomas or other certificates that they have attained a certain grade in some recognized institution of learning. Employers should select their apprentices from these classes, compelling the young men to take at least one year of practical work before returning to the school to complete the course offered there.
I have never been able to determine how the fitness of an applicant can be estimated except by actually setting him to work. Every pharmacist has had a like experience in this matter. While one individual may be theoretically well prepared for the study of pharmacy, he may absolutely lack all those qualities which pern. liarly fit a man for the successful pursuit of the profession liarly fit a man and business of the retail pharmacist; while another. who may be lacking in the requisite amount of school practice, might be personally well qualitied for the conduct of a practical business. For these reasons I have always found it very difficult to unqualifiedly indorse any of the various methods offered in times past. The one thing of which I am certain is that many men are graduated each year who are entirely unfit by education, precept, and shrewdness, or any other term which might be used to qualify their fitness for business, to stand even in an ordinarily small store as a clerk. Imagine such a one, and there are many of them, opening up a store for himself. It is easy to guess the result. For this reason and for many others I wish to indorse the article in the November number, and to voice my belief that the journals could in a great measure force the colleges to adopt the necessary means to weed out much of the unfit material that presents itself every year, and finally carries off the diploma of the school.
Philadelphia, November 8.
JAMES H. BEAL, Sc.D., Ph.G., Dean, Department of Pharmacy, Scio College. There is not a particle of doubt that a college of pharmacy should refuse its diploma to a student who is not possessed of the equivalent of, at the least, a good gram
mar-school education. I feel sure from a somewhat close up, it cannot be many years until a more satisfactory observation during the past five or six years that the standard of preliminary education will be supported by schools are coming more and more to the same conclu- pharmacists and demanded by the colleges. sion, and that the standards both for admission and
Scio, Ohio, November 8. graduation have been materially improved within that time.
WILLIAM C. ANDERSON, Ph.G., However, supposing the requirement of a grammarschool education to be generally enforced, this brings us
Professor of Pharmacy, Brooklyn College of Pharmacy; Presi
dent, National Association of Retail Druggists. to the question, What shall be done with the large number of drug clerks already in drug stores who lack this I have read with much interest your editorial, “This requirement? The majority of these will continue in is the Least that the Colleges Owe to Pharmacy," and pharmacy, and by hook or by crook will eventually be- while I agree with you that the subject of higher educacome registered pharmacists. As a practical question tion is one of the most important problems with which then we ask, Shall they be debarred from the opportunity the pharmacists of to-day are confronted, and that of improving their pharmaceutical knowledge by a closing the door against illiteracy and incompetency is course at a college of pharmacy? There is scarcely any essential to pharmaceutical progress, I must take excepdoubt of the fact that, notwithstanding their lack of tion to the inference that the college is responsible for general education, they would be better druggists by existing evils, and that upon it rests the responsibility attendance at a pharmacy college, and that the public for relief. would be greatly benefited by their increased compe If the only avenue through which a young man could tency.
enter the pharmaceutical world were the college, that Two possible answers to these questions suggest them. institution could justly be held responsible for his pharselves:
maceutical knowledge, as well as his ability to apply it. First: Let us admit such applicants to the benefits of But under existing conditions the boards of pharmacy, the college curriculum, and if they can, notwithstanding alone, have the power to determine who shall constitute their inferior general education, make a satisfactory the pharmaceutical profession of this country. While I showing in all branches, grant them a certificate stating have the highest regard for the ability and integrity of the fact, but withhold from them all recognized degrees the men who constitute our boards of pharmacy, and and diplomas, unless they shall afterwards make up while I sympathize with them in the performance of their their other deficiencies. The reason for this last quali arduous duties, it cannot be denied that a very small fying clause is that it has frequently occurred that stu percentage of those who apply for a license to practice dents who have entered colleges of pharmacy, and there pharmacy, regardless of their character, preliminary edurealized their general deficiencies, have afterwards entered cation, or business ability, fail to obtain the same. In upon and completed literary courses.
some instances there may be one, two, or even a halfSecond: Let some special degree be adopted which dozen unsuccessful attempts, but the determined one shall be generally understood as not requiring any other finally succeeds and is ushered into the profession with training than that which the college of pharmacy gives, as much authority as the high-school graduate who has and to admit all candidates not grossly ignorant to pursued a thorough course in a well regulated college, the course leading to this degree. While neither of and given positive evidence of good character and at the above alternatives is without objection, either, if least four years' practical experience. To what extent adopted, would soon lead to a more satisfactory condition these men will succeed in the business world depends of affairs than exists to-day.
greatly upon circumstances; but their relative value to On the whole, I believe I am justified in saying that the pharmaceutical profession leaves little room for the failure to make greater advances in the requirements comment. for preliminary education of pharmacy students has not The mind that has never been broadened and elevated been due to lack of zeal on the part of the colleges, but to by education will have a tendency to place the almighty circumstances beyond the control of faculties and boards dollar before everything else, for no matter how deficient of trustees. The teachers of pharmacy are a unit in in general knowledge one may be, the value of the dollar desiring the better education of their students, while a is always known; while the mind that has been developed not inconsiderable body of pharmacists are still opposed and made to appreciate the great value of education is to any education whatever, except that which can be stimulated and reaches out for greater results and higher gained from store experience, and the ability to “make attainments. change" correctly.
The relative value, however, of a graduate or practical Fortunately, the general trend of opinion is in the licentiate is a secondary consideration, when viewing the right direction, and if the present rate of progress is kept true issue of the day. This is a deplorable condition
brought about through the admission to the pharmaceutical profession of those whose lack of preliminary education renders them incompetent to cope with important duties and grave responsibilities. What just and logical means can be devised to overcome it? As indicated above, the boards of pharmacy are the channels through which objectionable men enter the profession. What restrictions then can we place upon these boards to restrict the license to those who are competent in every particular?
It has been suggested that such restriction can be secured through the colleges of pharmacy. With certain regulations that plan would insure satisfactory results and maintain the rights of all; a college diploma as a prerequisite for examination would appear to be a reasonable condition for licensure. The diploma thus elevated and made such an important feature in pharmaceutical progress, should be surrounded by safeguards that would maintain its honor and insure its perpetuation. The requirements to obtain it should be uniform: each college should be compelled to maintain a definite standard for entrance and final examinations, as well as college attendance and practical store service.
The contention that the college must first raise its standard and prove itself worthy of the proposed concession will not prove a serious obstacle; nor should the opinion of some that the prerequisite plan should first be put in operation, in order to stimulate the college to maintain a higher standard, retard consistent and satisfactory action; for while many will maintain that their way is the only way, the great mass of liberal, consistent pharmacists will recognize in both contentions faults and injustice, as well as advantages, and decide that all differences can be overcome by allowing the prerequisite plan and higher college requirements to go hand in hand, one depending upon the other, and both to go into effect at the same time.
While I believe every college in the country would willingly meet all requirements of the prerequisite plan without positive restrictions, I will admit the possibility of abuses and irregular practices, if absolute freedom of action is allowed. I am nomiy convinced that to demand that the college of pharmacy shall raise its standard and place such restrictions around its require ments for admission as will exclude the bulk of its patronage, in order to prove its sincerity, without aliford ing it such protection as will insure its stability, is as unreasonable as to expect a soldier to thrust his body upon the bayonet of an enemy, to prove his loyalty.
In my opinion, "the least that the colleges owe to pharmacy" is to hold themselves in readiness to comply with all legitimate demands of their supporters, and to cooperate willingly with every consistent move for the elevation of the profession.
Brooklyn, N. Y., November 10.
WILLIS G. GREGORY, Ph.G., M.D., Member of the New York Board of Pharmacy; Dean, Buffalo
College of Pharmacy. . An editorial in the November BULLETIN discusses one of the most interesting questions now being studied by progressive pharmacists. While the question is not definitely formulated in your article, it apparently runs something like this: What is the responsibility of colleges of pharmacy to the profession of pharmacy itself, concerning those who seek to enter its ranks? or, to put it in other words. How finely should colleges of phar. macy sift the material applying to them for instruction ?
The first thought that occurs to me is another query. Why under present conditions should colleges of pharmacy exercise, at all, any such function as that suggested by the two questions? The primary object of a college is to give instruction. It is not a licensing body, nor does its diploma in most instances confer the right to practice pharmacy. Most States have provided special boards to exercise the licensing power. Is it not illogical to expect or demand of one agent, created for a distinctly different purpose, the service for which another agent has been specially created ? Why not raise and discuss the question, Are boards of pharmacy meeting the full measure of their responsibility toward the profession of pharmacy, which created them and pays their expenses ?
My second thought is this: Should the colleges create an effective educational requirement they would debar many ambitious and deserving men from the privilege of an education; while the same men, by the use of quiz compends and possibly with the aid of private instruction, could succeed in passing the present board examinations and thus secure entrance into the field of pharmacy without the benefit of systematic training. In such cases the college is injured, the man is injured, pharmacy is injured, and nothing is gained. It is just as easy to ascertain a candidate's knowledge of arithmetic or grammar by a board examination as by a preliminary college examination.
Thirdly, the loss to colleges, in students, would be a serious matter to them; and while it may be claimed that the schools have no right to consider this fact. so long as it may be to the advantage of pharmacy itself, they certainly have as much right to consider it as pharmacists themselves have to select an uneducated boy for an apprentice, because he is cheaper than a grammar. school or high school graduate. This suggests the thought, in the fourth place, that of those entering the ranks of pharmacy every year probably 75 per cent enter by some path other than that through a college of pharmacy. Where does the responsibility lie for the sisting of this 75 per cent? If it be with the pharmacist himself, surely he should be called upon to remedy the
situation three times as often, or three times as loudly, The only place where the evil is susceptible of cure is as the same demand is made upon the colleges; and if at the door of the college. It is folly to try to better the responsibility is thus shared by two parties, or by the matter at any other point. Druggists are not to three, if we include the examining boards, let them work blame for hiring boys to clean out their stores. They together to remedy the evil.
are to blame if they recommend such boys as having There are other things to be said upon this subject been apprentices. That it is not necessary for them to from the view-point of the colleges, but out of respect do so for the boys to get into some colleges, the writer for your space let me say briefly that New York State is knows from experience. The college authorities take making a vigorous effort to remedy the fault you have the boys' own word for evidence in this matter. Let discussed. The remedy lies in three stages:
pharmacists insist upon colleges taking in only such 1. Apprenticeship: After January 1, 1901, no one can young men as are properly vouched for as real apprenenter upon a practical experience in pharmacy which tices, and who have had at least a high school educawill be acceptable to the State board without a certifi- tion, and the situation will quickly improve. As long cate from the board itself. To obtain this certificate, as there is a large proportion of uneducated pharmacists the candidate must present evidence of the proper age in control of certain colleges of pharmacy teachers canand such education as may be required.
not be blamed for the character of the students turned 2. Graduation: All candidates for examination, after out. For a teacher in such an institution to try and 1905, must be graduates of a college of pharmacy. To improve its practice would be to lose his position. To matriculate in any college in this State an educational even hint to an outsider the facts concerning the institurequirement will be demanded, supervised by the regents tion would be to damage his prospects. of the University of the State of New York.
Put colleges into the power of State regents, where 3. Examination: Having complied with these require- such exist; have laws passed forbidding the matriculaments the candidate must still pass an examination tion of any person not possessed of a high-school edubefore the State board of pharmacy, before which these cation, and then improvement of the present painful requirements must be fully established.
condition of things can be hoped for. For a college to The colleges of pharmacy in this State are in hearty be under the control of uneducated men is bad enough, accord with the State Pharmaceutical Association in but for it to be under the control of the men who consecuring these ample provisions for a suitable sisting of trol the board of pharmacy, unless such men are supercandidates for the profession of pharmacy.
angelic, is far worse. When these men are not genuine In view of these facts, it would appear that your angels, anything like an attempt at reform without first criticisms have no application to the colleges of phar- removing them from their positions can end in nothing macy in New York State. It is hoped that the example better than a farce. of this State will be followed by others, so that the
New York, November 10. rapidity with which State examining boards were provided may be equaled in the adoption of entrance requirements to the practice of pharmacy.
GEORGE B. KAUFFMAN, Ph.C., Buffalo, N. Y., November 10.
Dean, College of Pharmacy, Ohio State University.
“All things come to him who waits" is an aphorism R. G. ECCLES, M.D.,
whose general truth we doubt. Nor do we believe in
supinely waiting for a given something to happen; yet Editor of Merck's Archives.
we think it likely to prove true in the case of the editor The editorial in your November issue upon “The of the Bulletin, who so earnestly pleads for a better Least that the Colleges Owe to Pharmacy" is timely and basis of pharmaceutical education. Not that we would important. The sooner pharmacists awake to the dan- accuse him of being among those who lazily wait, for ger that lurks in the present method of turning floor his editorial proves him to be of those who lend their sweepers, porters, and graduate cleaners, picked up by aid to bring about a desired result, and we hope he “BOY WANTED" signs in the windows, into full-fledged will continue to keep their plain duty before our teachdruggists, the better it will be for pharmacy. Manying institutions. We just mean to assert that he will pharmacists are already awake to the danger, but seem have his wish in time, and we do not believe his patience inclined to try to make a bad matter worse by seeking will be greatly taxed. higher education through forcing boards of pharmacy The writer began to teach pharmacy fourteen years to demand the exhibition of a diploma from a college of ago. A comparison of the conditions then and now pharmacy before examining the candidate for a license. shows a change amounting to little short of complete As well build a house on a foundation of rotten stone. revolution. The development of schools of pharmacy The bigger the house the more woful the fall. as departments of our great universities has been the