In the discussion of therapeutic nihilism at the Illinois state meeting Dr. Woodard gave the following illustration to show the peculiarities of our practice. He said: We have failed to educate the public, who are our patients. When you educate your patients, then you are educating your legislators. I find but few know the difference between the schools. They often ask me, "what is the difference between the Eclectics and the old school?" I will illustrate the difference by the following incident: A lady graduating from an Eclectic school was thrown into a neighborhood where there was no other Eclectic. A school teacher there had erysipelas. It look them five or six weeks to cure her, because they treated the name of the disease, and not the exact conditions that the patient had. That is hardly a good illustration. But the teacher had another attack. Then the lady doctor treated her, and had her out in a week. Then the patient wanted the remedy the doctor had used, as she said the lady doctor might move away.
In about two or three months she got sick again, and had another attack of erysipelas. She bought the remedy, but it did not do her any good. Then she called the lady doctor, and again she had her out in a week. She said, "did you use the same remedy?"
And the doctor told her, No, the indications were not the same. Again she said, "I wish you would give me the prescription, you might move away." She did so.
In a few months she had another attack, and tried first the first remedy, and then the second, but neither did any good. Again she called the lady doctor, and as before she had her out in a week. She asked again "did you use the same remedy that you did before." And again she was told "no, I did not, the indications were not the same." Then she wanted to know how the lady doctor could get her out in a week, using different treatment each time, and the other doctor got her out in five or six weeks. The lady doctor told her, "He treated you for the name of the disease and I by symptoms, which you had when you were sick. Each time the indications were different. The color of the erysipelas was different, the swelling was different." That is the difference between our schools; we treat by the symptoms then present.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.