History of Medicine in America
Ⅴ: A New Strategy
In 1889, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and one of four founding professors of John Hopkins Hospital, Sir William Osler wrote in the JAMA that all physicians, whether regular, eclectic, or homeopathic, stand equal in the eyes of the law and that “if we wish legislation for the protection of the public, we have got to ask for it together, not singly.”
Osler’s opinion was not common place though and instead, insincere policies to include the “irregulars” in the state boards of medicine were just a strategy to pacify them and the public.
Dr. James Hibbard, Chairman of the Iowa State Medical Society Legislative Board said,
“That this scheme embraces no therapeutic doctrine will be distasteful to many excellent physicians, but it is believed that the sober second thought of all classes will recognize that there is little risk in trusting the medication of the ailing to the judgment of anyone who is completely master of the [other] departments of medical science. . . And moreover, it must be an apparent verity to the most obtuse that while regular physicians, eclectics, homeopaths, etc., have their present standing among the people, not one of the schools can reasonably hope to have its peculiar views of therapeutics recognized by an authority that has the power to cause their general adoption to the exclusion of others . . .”
Medical Association of the State of Alabama was reorganized after the Civil War by a physician named Jerome Cochran who stated,
“It is well that we should understand that the primary and principal object of the Association is not the cultivation of the science and art of medicine. Truly, that is not a matter to be neglected, and we hope to accomplish much in this line. But it is not this that we have chiefly at heart. We will appreciate most adequately the real character of the Association if we regard it as a medical legislature, having for its highest function the governmental direction of the medical profession of the State, while its other functions, important as they are, in themselves, are, in comparison with this, of quite subordinate rank.”
From this point forward, the regular doctors would see much success in the attainment of their goals.