of 3 /3
489 accomplishment of the ends it sought to obtain. I have the honour to remain Sir, your most obedient servant, JUNUIS. Clieltenham, 28th October. ATTEMPT TO BOLSTER LTP THE NEW CHARTER. Brigg, October 22d, 1845. GENTLEMEN,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your circu- lar and in answer thereto, I am sorry I cannot join with you in the Memorial and Protest annexed. The unjust and partial manner in which hospital surgeons and lecturers were, by the disgraceful Charter of 1843, eleva- te-I to the rank of Fellows, over the heads of hundreds of eminent and scientific private practitioners-many their equals, some even their superiors-has excited the honest indignation of thousands of the Members, and calls loudly for redress. Any attempt, therefore, to bolster up a Charter, which bears on its face injustice and fraud to those who had equality of rights and privileges guaranteed to them on their admission, must, in my opinion, inevitably fail. Let the Council act with something like common honesty to those who were admitted as Members prior to 1843, by gradually creating them Fellows as they attain fifteen or twenty years’ standing; and those after 1843, by an examination in accordance with the present advanced state of the medical and surgical sciences, and they will. hear no more complaints about the fellowship. I think it my duty to inform you that, in January last, a meeting was held here, of Members practising in North Lin- colnshire at which a memorial was agreed to, and presented to the Council of the College, signed by upwards of twenty Mem- bers, complaining of the operation of the Charter of 1843, and especially of the exclusion of surgeons practising midwifery, that most important branch of surgery, from seats in the Council and Court of Examiners, an act which has covered its promoters with shame and obloquy. With regard to the rights acquired by parties, who have sin ;e passed as Fellows, I do not think they would be interfered with in any material manner; nor indeed should they be up- held when the injustice done to hundreds of Members of thirty or forty years’ standing is taken into account. I am, &c. HENRY MARSTON. Hon. Sec. to the North Lincolnshire Medical Association. To Messrs. Kelson and Harcourt, Sevenoaks, Kent. HENRY MARSTON. Hon. Sec. to the North Lincolnshire Medical Association. CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY, EDINBURGH, AND DR. CORMACK, RELATIVE TO THE RESIGNATION OF THE LATTER AS ONE OF THE PHYSICIANS OF THE INSTITUTION. PREFACE. ’, I DEEM it due to my friends, professional and non-professional, to publish the following correspondence, relative to my resig- nation as a Physician to the Royal Infirmary of Edinbur At the time I became a candidate for the office, I had in view the status it conferred, and. the facilities which it afforded for professional improvement; but I soon found, that the con- scientious discharge of Infirmary duty was often incompatible with due attention to private practice; and having adopted my profession as a means of livelihood, I foresaw, that unless a change took place in the hour of visit, and in some of the other Hospital arrangements, I should ultimately be obliged to resign. In commercial appointments, gratuitous services are appre- ciated at their proper value, and are fast falling into desuetude. Referring to this fact, and to the financial and vital statistics of the Infirmary as compared with similar institutions, I sug- gested to several of the Managers, that some remuneration to the Physicians was absolutely necessary, if they wished to command adequate attention to the medical wants of the suf- fering poor entrusted to their charge. I was assured, how- ever, that it would be useless to bring any such proposition before the Board. I next attempted to effect some change in the system of Clinical instruction, whereby I might have had some indirect advantage from my appointment. Public Hospitals should bere- garded not merely as curative ir_stitutions,but as establishments calculated to promote the general health of the community, by affording medical students extensive opportunities of minutely observing and studying disease in a collected form; and in no way can this object be fully accomplished, except by Hospital Physicians giving careful conversational courses of bedside tuition to small classes. The privilege of giving any kind of Clinical instruction in Edinburgh, has been limited by the Managers to two or more University Professors, and alter- nately to one of the two Senior Infirmary Physicians. I never could see the propriety of this monopoly. Bedside instruction can-like Practical Chemistry-be taught only by the teacher coming into direct and individual contact with each pupil; and without this kind of tuition all other medical study is valueless. It therefore caused me deep regret to find that the Managers resolved to prevent me-although their concession would not have been without a precedent from attempting to remedy, to a small extent, a defect of such importance, particularly as its existence in Edinburgh formed the special subject of an ex- cellent pamphlet by Sir James Clarke. When hesitating what course I ought to follow, in conse- quence of the declinature of the Managers, I received their communications of the 2d October, which led to a renewal of the correspondence; and was followed by my resignation. I have at present contented myself with referring to such matters as are merely personal; but there are many things of public interest connected with the Infirmary, to which I may afterwards refer at some length. JOHN ROSE CORMACK. 22d October, 1845. No. I. TO THE HON. THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY. 131, Princes-street, August 23, 1845 My LORD AND GENTLEMEN,—It is my desire early in the ensu- ing session, to offer private clinical lessons to a class of not more than ten pupils. As the greatest part of my instructions must be given in connection with my patients in the hospital, I feel that I cannot with propriety take any steps in this matter without receiving your permission, which I now respectfully ask. What I contemplate is, not the giving of Clinical Lectures, but of familiar practical lessons, on the plan, which, in March last, you permitted Dr. Douglas to pursue. I have only within the last few days learned, that my not discharging Dr. Craigie’s duties, during his now long pro- tracted absence from the hospital, has been attributed to a disinclination on my part to undertake the work. I think it right, therefore, to state, for my own justification, and perhaps for your information, that this is not the case. I have never received any communication from you, Dr. Craigie, or my other colleagues, on this subject, which has surprised me; as I believed, that whenever one of your Physicians was unable to discharge his duties for a time, however short, he would inti- mate the same to you, by whom, as a matter of course, (unless the absence was to be a very short one,) the Physician who, at the time, was supernumerary by rotation-would be called into active service, the duty assigned to him being mainly re- gulated by his seniority. I am, my Lord and Gentlemen, your obedient servant, JOHN ROSE CORMACK. No. II. TO THE HOX. THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY. 131, Princes-street, August 30, 1845. My LORD AND GENTLEMEN,—I beg respectfully to solicit an early answer to that part of my communication of the 23d instant, which regards "private clinical lessons;" as it will materially affect arrangements which I require to make without delay in reference to the approaching session. Dr. Beilby and Dr. Pitcairn-deputed by you to consider my letter-met with me at your request, and heard from me a full account of what I have in contemplation. They inti- mated to me, that as objections had been raised by some of those gentlemen who are immediately interested in keeping up the present restriction on clinical teaching, I ought to inform you in writing, (of what I stated to the Committee in words,) that I did not crave leave to give certificates, which students could pass at the Boards as certificates of attendance upon clinical lectures-that my lessons would in no way interfere with the emoluments which arise from the clinical monopoly; as from private lessons not qualifying for the Boards, students would not come to me, if they could get the same kind of in- struction by attendance on a course which would be received I as part of the regular curricula. When I said in my former letter-" What I contemplate is not the giving of clinical lectures, but of familiar practical lessons," I meant, that I ) would not be competitor with the present Clinical Lecturers .

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY, EDINBURGH, AND DR. CORMACK,

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Page 1: CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY, EDINBURGH, AND DR. CORMACK,

489

accomplishment of the ends it sought to obtain. I have the honour to remain Sir, your most obedient servant,

JUNUIS. Clieltenham, 28th October.

ATTEMPT TO BOLSTER LTP THE NEW CHARTER.

Brigg, October 22d, 1845.GENTLEMEN,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your circu-lar and in answer thereto, I am sorry I cannot join with youin the Memorial and Protest annexed.The unjust and partial manner in which hospital surgeons

and lecturers were, by the disgraceful Charter of 1843, eleva-te-I to the rank of Fellows, over the heads of hundreds ofeminent and scientific private practitioners-many their equals,some even their superiors-has excited the honest indignationof thousands of the Members, and calls loudly for redress.Any attempt, therefore, to bolster up a Charter, which bearson its face injustice and fraud to those who had equality of

rights and privileges guaranteed to them on their admission,must, in my opinion, inevitably fail. Let the Council act withsomething like common honesty to those who were admittedas Members prior to 1843, by gradually creating them Fellowsas they attain fifteen or twenty years’ standing; and thoseafter 1843, by an examination in accordance with the presentadvanced state of the medical and surgical sciences, and theywill. hear no more complaints about the fellowship.

I think it my duty to inform you that, in January last, ameeting was held here, of Members practising in North Lin-colnshire at which a memorial was agreed to, and presented tothe Council of the College, signed by upwards of twenty Mem-bers, complaining of the operation of the Charter of 1843, andespecially of the exclusion of surgeons practising midwifery,that most important branch of surgery, from seats in theCouncil and Court of Examiners, an act which has coveredits promoters with shame and obloquy.With regard to the rights acquired by parties, who have

sin ;e passed as Fellows, I do not think they would be interferedwith in any material manner; nor indeed should they be up-held when the injustice done to hundreds of Members of thirtyor forty years’ standing is taken into account.

I am, &c.HENRY MARSTON.

Hon. Sec. to the North LincolnshireMedical Association.

To Messrs. Kelson and Harcourt, Sevenoaks, Kent.

HENRY MARSTON.Hon. Sec. to the North Lincolnshire

Medical Association.

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE MANAGERS OFTHE ROYAL INFIRMARY, EDINBURGH, AND DR.CORMACK,

RELATIVE TO THE RESIGNATION OF THE LATTER AS ONE OF

THE PHYSICIANS OF THE INSTITUTION.

PREFACE. ’,

I DEEM it due to my friends, professional and non-professional,to publish the following correspondence, relative to my resig-nation as a Physician to the Royal Infirmary of EdinburAt the time I became a candidate for the office, I had in

view the status it conferred, and. the facilities which it affordedfor professional improvement; but I soon found, that the con-scientious discharge of Infirmary duty was often incompatiblewith due attention to private practice; and having adopted myprofession as a means of livelihood, I foresaw, that unless achange took place in the hour of visit, and in some of theother Hospital arrangements, I should ultimately be obligedto resign.

In commercial appointments, gratuitous services are appre-ciated at their proper value, and are fast falling into desuetude.Referring to this fact, and to the financial and vital statisticsof the Infirmary as compared with similar institutions, I sug-gested to several of the Managers, that some remuneration tothe Physicians was absolutely necessary, if they wished tocommand adequate attention to the medical wants of the suf-fering poor entrusted to their charge. I was assured, how-ever, that it would be useless to bring any such propositionbefore the Board.

I next attempted to effect some change in the system ofClinical instruction, whereby I might have had some indirectadvantage from my appointment. Public Hospitals should bere-garded not merely as curative ir_stitutions,but as establishmentscalculated to promote the general health of the community, byaffording medical students extensive opportunities of minutelyobserving and studying disease in a collected form; and in no

way can this object be fully accomplished, except by HospitalPhysicians giving careful conversational courses of bedsidetuition to small classes. The privilege of giving any kind ofClinical instruction in Edinburgh, has been limited by theManagers to two or more University Professors, and alter-nately to one of the two Senior Infirmary Physicians. I nevercould see the propriety of this monopoly. Bedside instructioncan-like Practical Chemistry-be taught only by the teachercoming into direct and individual contact with each pupil; andwithout this kind of tuition all other medical study is valueless.It therefore caused me deep regret to find that the Managersresolved to prevent me-although their concession would nothave been without a precedent from attempting to remedy, toa small extent, a defect of such importance, particularly as itsexistence in Edinburgh formed the special subject of an ex-cellent pamphlet by Sir James Clarke.When hesitating what course I ought to follow, in conse-

quence of the declinature of the Managers, I received theircommunications of the 2d October, which led to a renewalof the correspondence; and was followed by my resignation.

I have at present contented myself with referring to suchmatters as are merely personal; but there are many thingsof public interest connected with the Infirmary, to which Imay afterwards refer at some length.

JOHN ROSE CORMACK.22d October, 1845.

No. I.

TO THE HON. THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY.

131, Princes-street, August 23, 1845My LORD AND GENTLEMEN,—It is my desire early in the ensu-ing session, to offer private clinical lessons to a class of not morethan ten pupils. As the greatest part of my instructions mustbe given in connection with my patients in the hospital, I feelthat I cannot with propriety take any steps in this matterwithout receiving your permission, which I now respectfullyask. What I contemplate is, not the giving of Clinical Lectures,but of familiar practical lessons, on the plan, which, in Marchlast, you permitted Dr. Douglas to pursue.

I have only within the last few days learned, that my notdischarging Dr. Craigie’s duties, during his now long pro-tracted absence from the hospital, has been attributed to adisinclination on my part to undertake the work. I think itright, therefore, to state, for my own justification, and perhapsfor your information, that this is not the case. I have neverreceived any communication from you, Dr. Craigie, or myother colleagues, on this subject, which has surprised me; as Ibelieved, that whenever one of your Physicians was unable todischarge his duties for a time, however short, he would inti-mate the same to you, by whom, as a matter of course, (unlessthe absence was to be a very short one,) the Physician who,at the time, was supernumerary by rotation-would be calledinto active service, the duty assigned to him being mainly re-gulated by his seniority. I am, my Lord and Gentlemen, yourobedient servant,

JOHN ROSE CORMACK.

No. II.

TO THE HOX. THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY.

131, Princes-street, August 30, 1845.My LORD AND GENTLEMEN,—I beg respectfully to solicit an earlyanswer to that part of my communication of the 23d instant,which regards "private clinical lessons;" as it will materiallyaffect arrangements which I require to make without delay inreference to the approaching session.

Dr. Beilby and Dr. Pitcairn-deputed by you to considermy letter-met with me at your request, and heard from mea full account of what I have in contemplation. They inti-mated to me, that as objections had been raised by some ofthose gentlemen who are immediately interested in keeping upthe present restriction on clinical teaching, I ought to informyou in writing, (of what I stated to the Committee in words,)that I did not crave leave to give certificates, which studentscould pass at the Boards as certificates of attendance uponclinical lectures-that my lessons would in no way interferewith the emoluments which arise from the clinical monopoly;as from private lessons not qualifying for the Boards, studentswould not come to me, if they could get the same kind of in-

struction by attendance on a course which would be receivedI as part of the regular curricula. When I said in my formerletter-" What I contemplate is not the giving of clinicallectures, but of familiar practical lessons," I meant, that I) would not be competitor with the present Clinical Lecturers

.

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as attendance upon them would still be compulsory, and uponme purely voluntary.What I wish to gain is not a mere personal end. To supply

the rudiments of Clinical Science to such a great Medical Schoolas Edinburgh still is, several private Clinical Teachers are ur-gently required; and as they are not only tolerated, but muchencouraged, in all the Hospitals of Paris, and recently in someof those of London, and Dublin, and in the Infirmary of Glas-gow, the number of pupils who fee the Edinburgh Hospitalwill go on decreasing from year to year; and I am not sin-gular in believing that the reputation of Edinburgh, as aSchool, for safe practitioners, can only be maintained byseveral such classes being kept in constant operation. Whena student at the Edinburgh Infirmary, I felt painfully what Ihave heard every other student, with whom I was acquainted,state to have been his own case, that comparatively littleevery-day practical knowledge could be derived from frequent-ing your crowded Clinical Wards, and listening to the ablediscourses which are delivered with reference to the casestwice a week; and this must be so with every pupil who hasnot previously been taught in familiar and daily lessons howto observe disease. This kind of information cannot be com-municated by desultory observations at the bedside; which,however, may be of immense value to those who have beencarefully and systematically taught the rudiments of medicineat the bedside. I have ventured to trouble you with theseremarks, not because I suppose they contain any information;but to point out, that I regard the subject of my request asone involving the interests of the public, and of the students,inasmuch as I wish to enjoy no monopoly, and will never objectto the indefinite multiplication of private Clinical Teachers.Were I only asking a personal favour, I would still consi-

der my claim as more than sufficient; for allow me to remindyour Honourable Board, that the appointment to the MedicalDepartment of the Infirmary of Edinburgh, is not only with-out emolument of any kind, but from the number of patientsand the hours fixed for attendance involving the most valuablepart of the day, the faithful discharge of the duties is quiteincompatible with even an average private practice. The ex-perience which may be gained by holding the situation is va-luable ; but unless the physician, when private practice presses,neglect his Hospital patients, or consign them to his clerk andnurses-this experience will be purehased at an immense pre-sent sacrifice on his part.In conclusion, I have only to say, that private Clinical

Teaching has, wherever it has been tried, been found of signalbenefit to the patients, and the pupils; and of great service tothe teacher, in training him for the adequate discharge of themore formal, the more difficult, but not the less necessary dutyof Clinical Lecturing. I am, &c., &c.

JOHN ROSE CORMACK.

No. III.

Royal Infirmary, ist September, 1845.SIR,—I am directed by the Managers of the Royal Infrr-mary to inform you, that, after considering your letters of the23d and 30th ult., they resolved, that it was inexpedient togrant the privilege sought by you. I have the honour to be,Sir, &c.

PETER BELL,

Dr. Cormack. Clerk to the Incorporation.

Dr. Cormack.

No. IV.

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES OF THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL

INFIRMARY.22d September, 1845.

" The Committee beg to recommend in regard to the atten-dance of the Physicians of the Institution, that at all timeswhen any of them are absent from their duties, no one shallbe entitled to officiate in their stead, unless warranted to act inthe capacity of Physician by an express appointment fromthe Managers, and that in all such instances the Junior Physi-cian off duty is the natural person to be applied to, and em-ployed, in virtue of his status in the Royal Infirmary.—Andit is further recommended that the above regulation shouldapply to the Clinical Physicians as well as to the Ordinary ’,Physicians." ..

Royal Infirmary, 2d October, 1845. SIR,—I am directed by the Managers of the Royal Infir- mary to transmit to you the foregoing extract from the llinutesof the 22d September, and to state that the Managers, interms of the Report, beg, that, when any unavoidable absence

occurs, information may be immediately made to them. I havethe honour to be, Sir, &c.,

PETER BELL.Dr. Cormack.

No. V.

. Royal infirmary, 2d October, 184.5.SIR,—I am directed by the Managers of the Royal Infir-mary to inform you, that in consequence of an applicationfrom Dr. Craigie, they have granted him leave of absence forsix months, and in consequence, have directed the Physician,now off duty, to be called on; it being understood that Dr.Paterson will attend Dr. Craigie’s wards, and that the ordi-nary rotation, in all other respects, will take effect. I have thehonour to be, Sir, &c.

PETER BELL.

.Dr. Cormack.

No. VI.

TO THE HON. THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIRMARY.

My LORD AND GENTLEMEN,—I have this day received from yourClerk, Mr. Bell, an excerpt from your Minutes, containing a re-solution recommending the observance of an original statute ofthe Infirmary, which I beg to say I have never violated; andwould never in any way wish to evade.Along with the excerpt from your Minutes, I have received an

official letter from Mr. Bell, informing me, by your desire, that" in consequence of an application from Dr. Craigie, you havegranted him leave of absence for six months, and in consequencehave directed the physician now off duty to be called on; it beingunderstood that Dr. Paterson will attend Dr. Craigie’s wards, andthat the ordinary rotation in all other respects will take effect."You are aware that for a long time past, the Senior Physician

has unfortunately been unable to give personal attention to hisduties, although it is only now that my services are asked in placeof his, and that the Second Physician has lectured both as a sub-stitute and as a principal; and thereby established in his own

person a monopoly of what was intended by your regulations tobe done by two distinct parties. Now, however, that the SeniorPhysician has formally relinquished his duties for a time, I shallfeel obliged by your informing me, if I am to understand that invirtue of my position, as Second Acting Physician, I am for thetime I occupy that position, to be allowed to exercise the privilegeannexed to that office, of being allowed to give Clinical Lecturesalternately with the Senior Acting Physician.

I take the liberty of making this inquiry without prejucticingthe application, to give Conversational Clinical Instruction, whichI formerly preferred in my capacity of Third Physician ; and which,to the surprise of every one, was refused by the Managers, withoutany reason being assigned. I am, My Lord and Gentlemen, &c.

JOHN ROSE CORMACK.3d Oct. 1845.

No. vn.

ROYAL INFIRMARY, 6th October, 1845.SIR,—I am directed by the Managers of the Royal Infirmary toinform you, that your letter of the 3d inst. was laid before themthis day, and that they had likewise an application dated 4th inst.,from Dr. Paterson, requesting to be allowed to remain in chargeof his own wards. ’

After considering the whole subject, the Managers resolved,that Dr. Paterson should be allowed to remain in his own wards,as requested, and that you should take charge of Dr. Craigie’swards, according to the rule of seniority ; and, with referenceto the other part of your letter, they resolved that this being onlya temporary arrangement during the absence of Dr. Craigie, forsix months, their understanding is, that Dr. Paterson is to lecturefor Dr. Craigie during the period of his temporary absence, andthat, therefore, your services as a lecturer will not at present berequired. I have the honour to be, Sir, &c.’

PETER BELL.

Dr. Cormack.

No. VIII.

TO TUB HON. MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL IXFIRMARY.

GENTLEMEN,—I duly received your letter of the 6th instant, andhave given it my most careful consideration.As there is a determination on your part to prevent me from

participating in any of the advantages fairly belonging to theresponsible, laborious, and personally hazardous office of InfirmaryPhysician, I feel that I would be wanting in self-respect, as well

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as in dutv to my family, did I any longer retain the appointment.I now, therefore, resign it into your hands. I am, Gentlemen,&c.

JOHN ROSE CORMACK.13th October, 1845.

No. LX.

ROYAL INFIRMARY, 14th October, 1845.SIR,-I am directed by the Managers of the Royal Infirmary to

acknowledge receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date, resigningyour office of Physician to the Infirmary, and to express their re-gret, that the terms in which the communication was made, putit out of their power to follow any other course than to accept theresignation so tendered. The Managers desired me to convey toyou their thanks for your valuable services, during the two yearsyou acted as Physician to the Infirmary and Fever Hospital ; and,at the same time, to express their regret that in retiring, youshould have done so on a narrative, the accuracy of which theycannot admit. You say there is a determination on the part ofthe Managers " to prevent you from participating in any of theadvantages fairly belonging to the responsible, laborious, and per-sonally hazardous office of Infirmary Physician," and that it is onaccount of this alleged determination on their part, that youresign your office. They feel it due to themselves to state, thatyou have entirely misapprehended their feelings towards you.They do not now, and never did, entertain the sentiments you im-pute to them.

Their desire has been to distribute impartial justice to all theofficers of the Establishment; and it was only because they con-ceiverl that it would have been an act of injustice to Drs. Craigieand Paterson, to have interfered with the temporary arrangemententered into between them, regarding the course of lectures to bedelivered during the ensuing six months, that they felt themselvesat present obliged to decline giving their sanction to any lectureswhich you might have contemplated delivering. My letter to youof the 6th inst., rested the declinature entirely on the ground ofthis being a temporary arrangement, and expressed no opinionwhatever adverse to your claims hereafter to lecture every alternateyear, in the event of Dr. Craigic’s being unable to resume hisvaluable services to the Infirmary, after this temporary arrangementfor six months, should have expired. I have the honour to be, Sir, &c.

PETER BELL.Dr. Cormack.

No.X.

TO THE HOX. THE MANAGERS OF THE ROYAL INFIEMARY.

131, PRINCES STREET, 16th October 1845.

Mr LORD AND GENTLEMEN,—I beg explicitly and sincerely to re-pudiate the charge of imputing to you " sentiments" or " feelings’’ iintentionally adverse to myself. In resigning my office as Infirmary Physician, I truly stated the

ground of it to be your determination to prevent me from enjoyingany of the advantages which I conceived to be fairly belonging tomv late office. You interdicted me from giving ConversationalClinical Instruction to ten pupils, to whom, in my anxiety to con-ciliate Dr. Craigie, Dr. Paterson, and the University Professors, Ipledged myself that I would give no formallectures, andno ClinicalCertificates. During a long period, when Dr. Alison and Dr.Christison were unable to do the whole duty of the Clinical Wards,and when I was not on duty, you delegated certain of these Wardsto Dr. Bennett, (who is not one of the Physicians of the Infirmary,)without making any communication to me on the subject. Youdid not call on me to perform Hospital duty when Dr. Craigieceased to visit his Wards months ago, and went to Germany; butonly when you authorized Dr. Paterson to lecture in room of him;that is to say, when at Dr. Paterson’s request, you assigned to meDr. Craigie’s Wards, and to Dr. Paterson, Dr. Craigie’s privileges.In acting thus, your only desire was to be courteous, and " todistribute impartial justice to all the officers of the Establishment;"and you dealt with me not as a private gentleman, but as anindividual holding a certain appointment.

I resigned not because I thought that the sentiments of the

Managers were personally unfriendly to me, but because I felt thatI should be wanting in self-respect as well as in duty to myfamily, did I retain the appointment upon the footing which youdeemed "impartial and just."

Trusting that this explanation will satisfy you,I am, my Lord and Gentlemen, your obedient servant,

JOHN ROSE CORMACK. .

ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS, EDINBURGHTo the Editor of THE LANCET.

SIR,—Permit me, through the medium of your most usefulJournal, to direct the attention of the President, and othersmanaging the affairs of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edin-burgh, to the great necessitv of having regularly published a listof the Members of their College. That such a publication is muchrequired is proved by the following fact, which I have from un-doubted authority, viz., that there are at present persons prac-

tising in various parts of the kingdom, and elsewhere, as surgeons,. who do not possess any diploma, but stvle themselves Licentiatesof the College of Surgeons, of Edinburgh, well knowing that it is

- impossible for the public to ascertain whether or not they are. Members of that College, owing to the want of which I complain.Such an omission is obviously calculated seriously to injure and. bring into great disrepute the character of the College from whichhave emanated some of the most distinguished surgeons that ever

’ lived. There are published lists of the Members of the Collegesof Surgeons in England and Ireland, and why, may I ask, isthere not one of the College in Scotland, which, in point of edu-cation and strictness of examination, is equal to either of theformer? Trusting this will have the desired effect, I am, Sir,your obedient servant, R. W.

Edinburgh, Oct. 15th, 1845.

THE PRESENT STATE OF THE MEDICALPROFESSION.

To the Editor of TnE LANCET.SIR,—It is well known that every one who either writes or.publishes a book exposes that book to the criticism of others,and also that he who writes an article in any of the periodicalsfeels, in some measure, the same power hanging over his head,for they admit not only critiques upon it by acknowledgedwriters, but also by anonymous ones. The vast number of workswhich have of late made their appearance in the medicalworld, offers a fair field for criticism both of the writers andtheir works, some few of which may stand the test of time, butmany, very many, are written solely to advertise the author’sname, or else for some particular case or purpose, such as theobtaining a rich gouty or nervous patient from whom theywish to get some fees. The book is published-copies are sentto the various club-houses, and placed upon the table there ashaits, and in not a few instances are sent to the residences ofthe parties the authors wish to obtain as patients. Were we toform an opinion of British practitioners from the mass ofwritings before us, we think it would be doing a cruel act of injust-ice; yet these compositions speak eloquently for themselves, andthough partiality might conceal them under the garb of apo-logy, yet would their worthlessness be discernible through theslender veii. It is not at all surprising that foreigners, whohave no other means of judging us but by our medical litera-ture, should entertain opinions which have so often vexed ourvanity, and prompted us to an unwise retaliation. Let any oneask himself-are the authors of the majority of these worksmen of literary or professional education? We fear he mustanswer in the negative. If we were asked to assign a reasonfor these and such like defects of composition, we should atonce say, that it was owing to the want of a good preliminaryeducation, and to an impression, made on the minds of pupilscommencing their studies,"tha.t all-ether pursuits were to beexcluded to the sole acquirement of the practical part of thehealing art. " Look to nature " is the sole burthen of every

lecture dinned into the ears of pupils by their instructors; itis, no doubt, valuable advice, but is there no preparation neces-sary to consult this wondrous book? Are the educated anduneducated alike capable of digesting its contents? Accordingto the present system of medical education, let the student butonce make himself master of a certain number of facts—lethim learn that such an artery is here, a vein there-that sucha medicine cures such a disease-pay his money at some hos-

pital or school-grind up for the College and Hall—and 10! heis licensed to practise upon the lives and limbs of all who may

present themselves to him. If the profession is ever to beraised to that high eminence to which it is entitled, it must beaccomplished by the preparatory education of its members, forwithout the broad basis of a liberal education, little can beattempted and nothing safely performed. Let any one reflecta moment on the languages to be learned-the books to be readand studied-the various departments of philosophy and sci-ence to which his attention must be directed-let him take asurvey of the annals of physic and the records of surgery—Ofthe human body, with whose most intimate recesses he must