tOPICB Or THE DAY.
London, March 29, 1859.
W OB OF XDICIL PRACITIMO . The Apothecaries Act
of 1815 at once elevated the dispensers of prescriptions to the legal status
of medical practitioners ;-a status which theyhad previously been by degrees
assuming, without any effective, though amid much attempted, opposition
from the physicians of that day. The successors of the apothecaries of 1815
are, to a great extent, men of the highest professional education. By them
the supplying of medicines has been pretty generally disoontinued, and now,
lfort natty, we think, there is not the twentieth part of the "open surge.
ries" to which the less opulent were accustomed to resort. In place of the
" open surgeries," however, there are the " open shops" of druggists, who, like
the old apothecaries, are medical consultants in their back parlours and
behind their counters. Many of them also visit sick customers at their own
homes.' A prestige will be given to this new order of medical practitioners
by Mr. Jacob Bell's Pharmacy Bill, and the long impending rumin of the
humbler class of medical men will be consummated, should the Bill pass the
legislature in its present form. At the same time, the whole of the profession
will be injured; for the druggists will more and more be courted by young
physicians, just as the apothecaries were courted by the " higher grades" of
the profession some fifty years ago-just as solicitors (and their daughters)
are now courted by hungry barristers. Can nothing be done to avert this
impending moral degradation of many in our profession?
We say YE ! If medical men will only combine, and get themselves
represented by two or three men of their own order in the new Parliament.
Seats, we believe, could be had, if candidates could be found capable of
eilisting the support of the profession. By and bye, the learned professions
will doubtless be represented in the legislature; but before that reform can
possibly be accomplished, our profession may be destroyed.
These remarks have been suggested by our having heard, on apparently
good authority, that ihe committee of thirteen, to whom Mr. Bell's Bill has
been referred, are likely to report in its favour, in consequence of the apathy
of the profession. The only public notice which we have seen of the appoint.
ment of this committee is the following, which appears (without a heading)
in the Times report of the proceedings in the House of Commons on the
22nd March.-" On the motion of Mr. J. Bell, the following members were
appointed the select committee on the Pharmacy Bill:-Mr. J. Bell, Mr.
Ewart, Mr. Bouverie, Sir W. G. Craig, Mr. Cardwell, Sir H. Willoughby,
Mr. Waldey, Mr. Deedes, Mr. Hindley, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Farrer, Mr. Wyld,
and Mr. Bramston."
EACKWLIDING OF THMCOL OF PHYICIANS. The Lancet (March
27) stes, upon apparently good authority, that under the Charter which
the College of Physicians is trying to obtain, candidates for the Fellowship
are to be admitted, only if they can, in addition to other accomplishments,
prove themselves to be good classical scholars. We have always been advo-
cates for a high standard of classical and mathematical attainments being
exacted from licentiates ering the professon: but the Fellowship of the
College of Physicians should be a professional distinction conferred upon
eminent physicians, even though they may have become rusty in latin,
Greek, and mathematics; and any measure which tends to make the College
what it once was, a mere club of Oxford and Cambridge men, must be re-
garded as an act of backsliding, opposed to the wishes of the most enlightened
physicians, ad extremely detrimental to the interest of the public.
CO TAX This creel inquisitorial impost, whieh weighs so
unequally and so oppressively on the members of our profesion, is, upon an
I DR. TuxSTATrx ,of Bath, calls attention to this in the Medical Times of March 13,
early occasion, to btbrought under the consideration of the Home Secretary
of State, by an infIuential committee of the Provincial Medical and Surgical
Association, appointed for that purpose at the annual meeting held at
Brighton in August last. As the Home Secretary has promised, within a
short period, to receive the committee, we earnestly call attention to the
appeal for support which has been issued by that body, and from which the
following is a short extract:-
"The Committee will be thankful for the names of those who are willing
to come forward and volunteer evidence before the Committee of the House
of Commons. They will feel greatly obliged to any medical man, whose en-
gagements will not permit him to take a more active part, to communicate
his opinions to the Secretary of the Committee. And, lastly, should any
individual desire that the facts onl* of his letter be made known, his commu-
nication will be regarded as confidential, and his name not allowed to tran-
spire. As the Committee are desirous to enlist every qualified member of
the medical profession, and to obtain information from all, they would be
glad to receiveSmith,communication upon this subject, addressed to their
Portland House, Cheltenham."
CooswE.LL, Charles, M.D., has been appointed one of the Physicians to the St.
Pancras General Dispensary.
GRnTrrH, Samuel, M.D., has been appointed Physician to the Incorporated
Society of Ancient Britons.
OLrmE, Dr., has been appointed by His Excellency Lord Cowley, Physician to
the British Embassy at Paris.
PARTMRGE,Joseph Bowen, Esq., has been appointed House Surgeon to the
WADE, Willoughby, M.D., has been appointed Resident Physician and Tutor to the
General Hospital, Birmingham, in the room of Dr. T. P. HESLOP, resigned.
WORDswoRTH, John Cawood, Esq., Assistant-Surgeon to the London Hospital,
was, on the 9th February, elected Assistant-Surgeon to the Royal London
Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields, in the room of H. H. MKCKMUIDo, Esq.,
Waxoen, W., Esq., has been appointed Surgeon to the Whitehaven and WVest
CumNG, James, M.R.C.S.Eng., and L.A.C. 1828, on the 16th January. Mr.
Cumming and his son (a lad of ten or twelve years of age) were drowned
at Matlock, in the river Derwent, in consequence-of its being swollen by
floods. Their bodies were not found till fourteen days had elapsed, when
they were discovered locked in each other's arms. Mr. Cumming left a
widow, (since deceased), and seven children, in whose behalf a subscription
is now being raised. Contributions are received by Messrs. Herries,
Farquhar, and Co., bankers, St. James' Street, London.
DEmY, Samuel, M.R.C.S.Eng. 1818, LS.A. 1819, Surgeon to the South Devon
and East Cornwall Hospital, and one of the Apothecaries to the Plymouth
Public Dispensary, on the 5th February, at Plymouth, in which town he
had been a medical practitioner for twenty-five years.
DOANE, A. S., M.D, Health Officer of New York, on the 27th January. He was
remarkable for his diligence in translating first class French medical works,
and for editing reprints of English books of the same description. He
translated Dupuytren's Surgery, Meckel's Ajatosy, Maygrier's Midwifery,
etc, and edited Mason Good's Study of Medline.
DowmN, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, M.D., on the 3rd February, at Frankfort-on-
the-Maine, aged 41. The deceased was a son of a clergymen of the
Church of Scotland. He received the honour of knighthood in 1840 from
the Queen, for his attention as physician to Her late ILH. the Landgravine
of Hesse Homberg. During the same year, he was appointed Physician
in Ordinary to H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge. Latterly, he practised at
Frantkfort, where he acted as Physician to the British Embassy.