Dr. T. D. Adlerman read the following letter from Dr. M. E. Daniel, Honey Grove, Texas:
To the National Eclectic Medical Association:
Forty-four years ago this month, at its Niagara Falls, N. Y., meeting, the writer of this appeal attended and became a member of your honorable body and was elected one of its vice-presidents. Down through these forty-four years have I paid annual dues, not a single year having lapsed.
I am not known to the majority of you who are in attendance today, and my long absence from your annual meetings, on the face of it, would indicate a lack of interest and concern in the welfare and perpetuity of our beloved "National" and the principles it represents. Far from it. For twenty-seven years I have been representing and defending Eclecticism as a member of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and with but few exceptions your annual meetings have conflicted with our State Board meetings, which fact exists today as you read this appeal. Keep in mind that when you adjourn Friday, we, too, will adjourn Saturday at 6:00 o'clock p. m., after a four-days' strenuous grind with a class of 165 examinees plus the disposition of 60 reciprocity applicants. But for this conflict I would have been with you in your present session.
The burden of my anxious heart today is that I may burn into your conscience, as if with a white-heated iron, the non-evadable realization that you are more than a Medical Society organised for the mutual exchange of ideas concerning medical and therapeutic progress—you are also a national medical educational rating agency. Today, for anything to be reputably, recognizably Eclectic, it must have your endorsement—your o. k. For your endorsement to be effective, respected, necessarily depends upon your own reputability. This undeniably and irrefutably means that you must foster, promote, prosecute and defend a standard of qualification for membership and medical college standard that will command respect—stand the test of merit and reput-ability—a standard that will win for us recognition under any mandamus proceeding in court, in any state or possession where "old glory" waves.
You might as well assume that we can walk through a granite wall without restraint as to assume that we can continue to succeed and command respect under a lower standard.
The need of our present emergency demands that you refuse membership to graduates of non-recognized and non-descript colleges, irrespective of schools, in medicine, even should the applicant be legalized and recommended by a state society. To do otherwise weakens and jeopardizes your influence and reputability to endorse—to give recognition to a medical college that does not meet every detail embodied in the above standard means to sacrifice your prestige as an educational rating agency. Far better that we continue with a limited membership and depend upon voluntary contribution for subsistence than to carry a padded, top-heavy membership of non-recognizables and nondescripts and to give your endorsement to an institution not meeting every requirement of a recognizable standard means to stigmatize our past one hundred years of glorious history.
As you deliberate, I trust you may invoke the guidance and counsel of the spirits of the six of the "old seven;" of Miles and Munn of Massachusetts, of Boskowitz and others of New York, of the lamented Goss and Durham of Georgia, of the Yeagleys of Pennsylvania, of Anton, Gemmill, Ressell, Scudder, Thomas of Ohio, of Baker of Michigan, of Clark, Jay, Ellingwood of Illinois, of Yonkin and Standle of Missouri, of Covert and Stevens of Wisconsin, of Webster and Monk of California, and others equally as great. Just as earnestly do I pray that the results of your deliberations may cheer the hearts of the remaining member of the "old seven" and others whose heads have grown white in the service.
- Anxiously submitted,
- M. E. DANIEL.
National Eclectic Medical Association Quarterly, Vol. 26, 1934-35, was edited by Theodore Davis Adlerman, M.D.