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MEDICAL STUDIES

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view, namely, that there was mischief in the system that Nature strove to eliminate, so he prescribed castor oil to expedite matters ; others took the exactly opposite view, consequently there was open war between the two methods. I read somewhere that one of Johnson's most fiery opponents considered the number of deaths occasioned by his method to amount to eleven thousand. Leaving aside all question of the accuracy of the estimate of this particular treatment, it is easy to see that when a pestilence lies heavily on a nation, the numbers affected are so large that a proper or improper treatment may be capable of saving or of destroying many thousands of lives. By all means, then, let competitive methods be tested at hospitals on a sufficiently large scale to settle their relative merits. Of this I will speak further almost immediately.

One part of my duties was to attend King's College Hospital, but the position of a student there was far less instructive than that of an indoor pupil at the Birmingham Hospital, where responsibility was great and there was no crowding. The teaching was, however, greatly superior to the generality of that at Birmingham. The position of house pupil and resident medical officer has long since become highly and justly prized, and is now obtainable only after competition and by the best men.

Medical knowledge has advanced so far that more scientific treatment can be had in many small country towns than was formerly procurable even in London. Still, the experience haunts my memory of Dr. M. at the Birmingham Hospital, of his habitual drench of which I wrote, and of his remark-