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DR. M. M. SMITH: That the members of this Board, as a whole and individually, desire to express our earnest and sincere thanks to this Association, and to its individual members for their uniform courtesies and assistance at all times in the performance of their duties. I desire further to say that in making this, our last report the profession throughout the State have always given us their hearty support and assistance at all times, and that we have worked along without a single jar or anything unpleasant in the performance of our duties.
DR. H. A. WEST: I would like to know how many second-course students have received a license to practice from this Board? I do not see any record made in regard to such cases. It has come to my knowledge, however, that a number of second-course students from the Medical School of the University of Texas have been granted licenses to practice.
DR. M. M. SMITH: I think I can furnish that data to the Board in the morning in relation to those who are graduates, who are undergraduates and the length of time they have been in college. I will furnish this at the executive session tomorrow.
DR. H. A. WEST: There must be something radically wrong in the methods pursued by the Board of Medical Examiners when they grant licences to practice to second-year students. There appears to be a conflict between the Board of Examiners and the authorities of the University of Texas, for the latter institution requires four years of study to complete the course. Second-year students are not allowed to attend the clinics nor do they study any of the practical branches; they are not supposed to know anything about the practice of medicine, obstetrics, surgery, gynecology or any other matters of practice. How they can be properly prepared to be turned loose upon the community to practice is a thing beyond my comprehension.
I would like to hear from some one else in regard to this important subject. It seems that some steps should be taken to harmonize the Medical Board with the other State institution, the University of Texas.
Dr. Frank Paschal then spoke on the subject as follows:
As a member of the Board of Medical Examiners, I wish to say that the questions employed are, as a rule, practical questions. That many of the members here present were only required to attend a two-years course of lectures when they received their degree. I do not say that the method of teaching now is better or worse than the old method of teaching when we were medical students, and graduates of medicine. One thing I would like this body to inquire into, is whether the percentage of rejections that have been made by this Board is higher or lower than the percentage of
those who are rejected in the different medical schools of the United States. Under the law we have no option whatsoever; any one of good moral character can come up before our Board for examination, and hand in his papers for us to act upon. We do not know who they are. When I was grading papers, for instance, of the ninety-seven men who were up last week in Austin before the Board, I did not know the numbers of even three of these gentlemen. Their papers are numbered, not named, and we grade them by their numbers. If the applicant knows enough to answer the questions intelligently, and to the satisfaction of the Board, I do not see wherein the Board is to be blamed for passing men who have only attended a two-years course of lectures. I do not say that we are infallible in grading our papers; some papers are possibly graded higher than they should be; but whenever an applicant has failed to pass, you will find that the grading of each member of the Board of that applicant's papers has been uniformly low, showing that the members of the Board have realized that the answers to their questions is a fair representation of the applicant's knowledge.
I believe that this law should be so amended that when an applicant applies to this Board for an examination he should present a diploma from some reputable school of medicine. The law, as it now stands, does not require this, hence we can not be responsible for those who come before the Board.
DR. WM. KEILLER: I am one of the two professors of the Medical Department of the University of Texas who had a somewhat unique experience. It was this way: we had neglected to register our certificates and had the pleasure of appearing before your Board of Examiners last year. I think it was the hardest work we ever had before in all the ten years that I have spent in Texas. They kept us there for three days, writing all the time. Both Dr. Carter and myself had writer's cramp, and I have learned something about it. I believe we had a form that is dependent upon exhaustion of the centers on the cord for the brachial plexus (where I had the pain was at the back of my neck).
The questions, as a whole, were well selected, but there were too many of them. I have reason to believe that the grading is not sufficiently severe, and precautions are not taken against copying.
The profession in Texas owes a debt of gratitude to the Board for their arduous labors.
DR. H. A. BARR: As far as I know the work of this Board may be all right, but there are a few things I would like to know. It was supposed when this law was enacted that is was the intention of this Board to make a high standard and raise the plane of the medical profession. The Texas State Medical Association has a right to know how much has been done by
this law, if anything. Now, it is a well-known fact that of the practitioners of this State who have complied with this law 95 per cent of those physicians who have passed this examining board had complied with the law anyway. If I'm rightly informed, very few of those who were not complying with the law have gone before this Board. To my knowledge, little has been done to force them to comply with the law as it now stands.
DR. E. E. GUINN: "Dr Barr wants to know what the Board is doing towards setting aside those fellows who are practicing upon certificates from district boards before our present State law became a law.”
It is my understanding that this Board has nothing to do with these fellows, except to receive and register their certificates; this has been fixed by the law itself. In regard to illegal practitioners, it is as much the duty of each physician in this State to see to the prosecution of these men as it is the Board's; unless these facts are furnished to the Board, by the physicians of the State, it will not get them.
DR. M. M. SMITH replied as follows: I would like to reply to one or two questions. In reference to this new law as to whether or not, as Dr. Barr, of Beaumont, says, we are doing anything or have not done much, or something to that effect. I desire to say in this respect that we had one or two district boards in this State that simply sold State district board certificates to whoever had the price of them; this law has stopped all that, and we have very few illegal practitioners in this State at the present, and this Board asked if they had complied with the law and they replied and asked us for our authority, and we asked the Attorney-General if we had the authority to bring these violators to justice, and he replied that we had nothing to do with bringing these violators to justice further than as individual members, at the expense of the county where such violators lived. Therefore, if we have violators in this State same is due to lack of interest in those respective counties where they live.
That with our present plan and with a good county society in each county in this State, and with the assistance of the Board and co-operation of all the physicians, we will be able to bring these parties to justice.
DR. J. D. OSBORN: This Association owes a debt of gratitude to that Board of Medical Examiners. A vote of thanks is little remuneration for the arduous work it has accomplished, and the best evidence that we have had on the subject, as Dr. Keiller testifies, is the work they gave him; therefore,
Resolved, That the State Medical Association return a vote of thanks for this report and for the work they have done, and say to them: "Well done, thou good and faithful servants; go on in the good work."
Dr. F. E. Daniel, as Chairman of the Committee on State Board of Health, read his report of the workings of the Board for the past year.
REPORT OF CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEE ON STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
As chairman of your Committee on State Board of Health, I beg to report that in accordance with instructions there was prepared an elaborate bill for a State Board of Health and Vital Statistics-on the same lines as the Harrison bill, which was approved by this body at our last meeting-but, as there was an irreconcilable division of your committee upon its most essential and vital features (those that made it acceptable to the Quarantine Department), it was not introduced in the Legislature, previous experience having taught us that any measure antagonistic to the existing status would surely be defeated. There was amongst the members of both houses a pronounced sentiment against a Board of Health, and an outspoken and demonstrated opposition, even on the part of the committees on Public Health, to creating any new office or offices with salary, and necessitating additional appropriation. It was not deemed wise to repeat the efforts of the past, which have always been defeated, as we felt assured from expressed sentiments by leading Senators and Representatives that we could not even get a favorable report from the Public Health committees. The alternatives presented to us were: either to abandon all efforts, and let the matter go over another two years; face again certain defeat, or endeavor to secure a vital statistics law and sanitary legislation by the only method that seemed to offer any chances for success. Availing ourselves of the discretion demanded by the situation, we chose the latter alternative. We prepared another bill similar to the first in all essentials, except that instead of having a Board of Health to administer the proposed sanitary laws, the authority was vested in the State Health Officer, as is all authority in quarantine matters, subject to the Governor's sanction.
This measure was introduced in the Senate as the action of the majority of your committee, referred to the Senate Committee on Public Health, and was reported favorably, with the recommendation that it do pass. It was never acted upon in either house.
In the interest of harmony in the Association, I deem it wisest and best to not enter into detailed explanation. We respectfully ask to be discharged from further consideration of the matter. The two bills referred to are herewith attached and are a part of this report.
F. E. DANIEL,
Dr. Orr moved that the report be received and the committee discharged.
The motion was carried.
Judicial Council was called for.
Dr. M. M. Smith then offered the following resolution:
WHEREAS, The Hon. Jos. D. Sayers, ex-Governor of the State of Texas, recognizing the importance and necessity of a medical law in the State of Texas, regulating the practice of medicine, surgery and midwifery, incorporated in his annual message to the Legislature of the State of Texas, while Governor of the State, the recommendation for the enactment of such a law; and
WHEREAS, During the last session of the Legislature a new medical law was enacted in this State, and approved by the Hon. Jos. D. Sayers, as Governor; therefore, be it
Resolved, As he is a resident of San Antonio, that the privileges of this floor be tendered ex-Governor Sayers, and that a committee of three be appointed to invite him to visit this meeting and favor us with his wise counsel.
The resolution was adopted and the following gentlemen were appointed by Dr. Red as a committee to wait on ex-Governor Sayers and escort him to the hall: Drs. M. M. Smith, S. T. Turner and Taylor Hudson. [The ex-Governor was not, however, to be found. -EDITOR.]
The Section on Gynecology was then called, and owing to the absence of the Chairman and Secretary, Dr. Geo. H. Lee, of Galveston, was called to the chair, and Dr. Hill, of Austin, was called to act as Secretary.
The Judicial Council reported a list of new members.
Dr. Geo. H. Lee then read his paper entitled "Some Observations on the Anatomy, Physiology and Repair of the Pelvic Floor."
Discussed by Drs. Cantrell and Paine, and closed by Dr. Lee.
The Section on Ophthalmology, Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology was then called, and Dr. Henry C. Haden, of Galveston, took the chair, with Dr. W. A. Harper, of Austin, as Secretary.
Dr. Haden read his address as Chairman of the Section.