The time was when the only care of a medical college was presumed to exercise over a student was that of giving him adequate college facilities. It is perhaps still true of many, who feel that having done this, their responsibility ceases.
It was once true, also, that the medical student might be dissolute, even dissipated, without bringing upon himself the mark of great opprobium. Indeed, it was not unusual for practitioners to recount with glee the pranks they played when students, thus setting a sorrowful example for their students to emulate.
Whatever one may think of the ethics of eating and drinking, of pleasure, fun and recreation, it is evident that dissipation that debases is to be decried. Whatever tends to sacrifice the present opportunities of a young person, mortgages his future to the bad. This is as true of a student of medicine as of one in a literary college. There is no standard of dissipation that will disgrace a young man seeking knowledge in a general sense that will not equally disgrace the young man seeking medical education. The first qualification demanded of a physician is morality. This being true, the first consideration of the medical student is to be grounded in true ethics which will enable him to become in every sense an honorable physician.
Gradually it has come to be that old time harum-scarum ideas concerning the privileges of medical students are subject to thoughtful criticism. It is no longer permissible, as a bit of fun, for a man to be rowdy, and excuse himself because he is studying medicine.
The professional dignity of the physician begins, more and more each year, in the integrity of the man who is to become the physician. Morality, probity, ethics that concern home, humanity, and true patriotism, demand that the people look up to the physician. The necessity is no less than the better element of the community should be able to look in admiration at the medical student.
The writer once listened in boyish wonder to the stories recounted by a man, who, as a student, should not only have known better than to practice the "jokes" he perpetrated on his professors and classmates, but should also have known better than to relate them in his more mature years. It can be said with all earnestness that such conduct now would meet immediate expulsion.
Medical colleges of the first class are not now concerned in the curriculum of medicine alone. They are concerned as never before in the morality of the student entering college, his deportment while in college, and his record after he earns his diploma. No board of trustees wants a dissipated student; no college needs a rowdy in its classes; no graduate whose ideals are low credits his Alma Mater either before or after graduation.
These facts are facts. As one concerned in the coming graduates and the present class of the Eclectic Medical College, this writer pleads that mothers. fathers, kinsmen generally, impress on their loved ones, perhaps coming for the first time to a great city, the necessity of establishing a record in conduct that will go back home as a mark of honor and pride. The Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati will take every opportunity to serve the better side of life, so far as diversions, recreations and amusements are concerned. The college expects that parents and relatives of the young people will do their share in helping the college in its laudable endeavor to not only give the very best medical education attainable, but to guide the student to needful, pleasurable recreation, and to give him moral guidance which in after life will be looked back upon as a fundamental part of the course he took toward becoming a successful practitioner. J. U. LLOYD.
National Eclectic Medical Association Quarterly, Vol. 26, 1934-35, was edited by Theodore Davis Adlerman, M.D.