Selected writings of John M. Scudder.
As the steady dropping of water upon a stone gradually wears it away, so Dr. Scudder believed in reiteration of facts and teachings. He would hammer away at a certain subject, teaching it in different forms until he felt that the reader had fully grasped the lesson intended. In this way his specific medication doctrine became firmly intrenched. The method is commendable and effective.—Ed. Gleaner.
"LINE UPON, LINE, PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT, HERE A LITTLE AND THERE A LITTLE."—I think I hear some of my readers say, "I wish Dr. Scudder would quit sermonizing;" "I'm tired of the old tune"(?) And so am I tired of it, and would rather do anything else than turn the crank. But what says the prophet, as above?—we must obey the Scriptures. I find in teaching medicine that continued repetition is necessary to fix facts in the mind; "it is the constant dropping that wears away the stone." The first statement slips off of the mind and makes but little impression—is evanescent. The fact is stated in a different way, then in different associations, and then with different illustrations, until finally the mind of! the hearer or reader is forced to take hold of it.
If the reader notices outlandish, vulgar, or quaint expressions in these pages, he will understand that the object is to impress an important thought. The mind is a singular instrument, and is reached in many different ways; some men will be impressed by a funereal statement, and others by one that suggests a laugh. I confess that I belong to the laughing variety. To me the ordinary practice of medicine, as I see it, is a huge joke—funereal in character it is true, but none the less a joke; and thoughts about the dignity of this learned profession always bring a smile.
But we have something to teach, which we believe to be very much better than the ordinary practice, and we purpose teaching it in every way in which it may be impressed upon our readers. We are very much in earnest, and if every one does not learn something of "Specific Medication," it will not be from want of effort and patient perseverance on our part.—SCUDDER, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1875.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.