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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
BALTIMORE, April 23rd, 1894. THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL AND ChiRURGICAL FACULTY ; In compliance with Sec. 52 of the Act of 1892, passed by the General Assembly of Maryland and relating to “Practitioners of Medicine,” we have the honor to submit to you the accompanying report for the period extending from the organization of the Board of Medical Examiners, June 2d, 1892, to April 23d, 1894.
JAMES BORDLEY, President,
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF MEDICAL
The Board met and organized on the first Tuesday in June, 1892, as required by the terms of the Medical Act. A President, Secretary and Executive Committee were appointed, and the different subjects were chosen upon which the members should submit questions for written examinations.
A second meeting was held September 22d, 1892, at the rooms of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty. By-laws were adopted and arrangements were made for holding the first examination early in October of that year. Due notice of this examination was published in the Baltimore Sun, but there were no applicants for license who, up to the time appointed, had complied with the provisions of the law.
In 1893 two meetings of the Board were held for examinations, the regular semi-annual examination in April and another in June. The latter was intended to accommodate
applicants who had graduated after the April meeting, as well as those who had neglected to come forward at that time.
At the April meeting there were thirty-nine applicants of whom thirty-six received licenses. At the second or extra examination, of fifteen applicants nine were successful.
These examinations were arranged with a view to testing the reasonable fitness of recent graduates in medicine to begin the practice of their profession. It is apparent from the result of the first examination that the members of the Board adopted a most liberal standard in estimating the answers given to their respective questions.
The percentage of failures at the second examination seems disproportionately high (40 per cent.), but it is safe to say that no injustice was done those rejected.
Appended to this report are complete sets of questions for both examinations, also a table, showing the mark of each applicant in the different subjects.
At the time of writing this report fifty applicants have paid their fees and have fulfilled all other requirements preparatory to standing their examinations for licenses on May 3d, 4th and 5th.
Eight candidates have been declared ineligible for the reason that they had not studied medicine for three years, nor attended three courses of medical lectures.
In June, 1893, Mr. Archibald H. Taylor, member of the House of Delegates at the last session of the General Assembly,was retained as the legal counsel of the Board of Examiners. His advice has been availed of in all matters involving the construction of doubtful clauses in the medical law of 1892.
The Maryland laws of 1894, contain an act amending the law of 1892, and providing for a general official registration of all physicians practising in the State. Before its introduction in the House of Delegates this act had been approved
by committees representing the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty, the Examining Board, and the State Homeopathic Society. Section 54 of this act provides that "every person who was practicing medicine in the State of Maryland on or before the first day of June, 1892, shall be entitled to be registered as a physician or surgeon, or both, upon application to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county in which he or she may reside, or to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Baltimore City, if the applicant shall reside in Baltimore City, and such application shall be in writing, signed by the applicant, who shall state, under oath that he or she was, in fact, a practitioner of medicine or surgery in the State of Maryland, on or before the first day of June, 1892, and thereupon it shall be the duty of said clerk to register such application, and the name of such applicant as physician or surgeon or both in a book to be kept for such purpose, and a certified copy of such registration, under the seal of the court, shall be legal evidence of such registration in all the courts of this State.”
This Act was approved April 6th, 1894. Until it became a law there were no means of determining approximately even the number of persons who have located in Maryland since April 2d, 1892, and who have been practicing medicine illegally.
There is no denying the fact that the medical law of 1892 has been practically ignored by a numerous class of practitioners whom its provisions were intended to reach. This has been due mainly to the vagueness of the law itself, and in part also to the readiness with which persons have claimed exemption from its provisions by alleging that they had been already practicing medicine at the time of the passage of the law. The Alimsiest pretexts have often been availed of to substantiate such claims. In many instances no pretense has been made that the candidates for practice had attended a course of medical lectures, or had received any training at the hands of a preceptor.
In many other instances students have left their colleges after one or two courses of lectures, or as seldom happens have been unsuccessful in obtaining their degrees and have entered upon the practice of medicine. The title of M. D. is commonly appended to the signatures of those persons who have communicated with the Board by letter and stated that they never were graduated from any medical school.
At the meeting of the Board held June 22d, 1893, Dr. Samuel T. Earle, who had been elected its first president, resigned his membership to accept the chair of physiology in the Baltimore Medical College, which, under the law, constituted a disability to his continuing on the Board. Dr. James Bordley was thereupon elected President, and some weeks later Dr. J. L. Ingle, of Baltimore, consented to fill the vacancy in the Board caused by Dr. Earle's resignation.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE PREVEN
TION OF BLINDNESS.
MR. PRÉSIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: Pursuant to its report a year ago the Committee on Prevention of Blindness took steps last January to present a bill to the Legislature. Mr. Richard K. Cross of the Baltimore bar kindly drafted the bill embodying the views of the committee. It was then introduced in the Senate by the Hon. L. C. Carrico, M. D., of Charles County. The Senate passed it without delay. When it reached the house it met vigorous opposition from some of the county and one of the Baltimore City delegates, the main objection being the assumption that blindness is rarely and ophthalmia neonatorum never seen in the counties. The bill was sent back to the Hygiene Committee before which our committee appeared in company with Drs. Claude and Brayshaw, of Anne Arundel county. We were ably seconded by Drs. Paul Jones, of Snow Hill; W. F.
COMMITTEE ON PREVENTION OF BLINDNESS.
Hines, of Chestertown, and J. W. Humrichouse, of Hagerstown, who wrote to the delegates from their county. From personal examination by the Chairman of the committee it was found that twenty-five per cent. of the children of the Maryland School for the Blind were from the counties and that certainly fourteen and a half per cent. of these children and probably a larger number were blind from infantile ophthalmia. These facts and other arguments were presented to the Hygiene Committee. The bill was again favorably reported to the House. Its final passage is due in a great part to the untiring efforts of Messrs. Baer, Carter and Taylor of the city delegation; Mr. Scott, of Washington county, and Dr. Phelps, of Dorchester county, Chairman of the Hygiene Committee. To each of the gentlemen mentioned, especially to Dr. Carrico and Mr. Baer, the committee and Faculty are under great obligation. As finally passed and signed by Gov. Brown, the law is as follows:
An Act to Prevent Blindness in Infants.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland. That if at any time within two weeks after the birth of any infant, one or both of its eyes, or eyelids, are reddened, inflamed, swollen or discharging pus, the midwife, nurse or person other than a legally qualified physician, in charge of such infant, shall refrain from the application of any remedy for the same, and shall immediately report such condition to the Health Commissioner, or to some legally qualified physician in the city, county or town wherein the infant is cared for.
And be it enacted, that any person or persons violating the provisions of this Act, shall, on conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in jail not to exceed six months, or by both fine and imprisonment.