Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/95

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91
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

must be chosen. But ninny members of the association have regretted the abandonment of the summer meetings, which could be held in a university town or summer resort, when out-of door life and excursions are pleasant, and where old acquaintances and friends may be met and new ones made. The American Association has now more than twice as many members as in 1900, and it should be able to increase its service by holding meetings that will fill the needs of all. It is to lie hoped that those who believe that summer meetings are desirable or that the experiment should be tried will go to Ithaca. Whether the meeting is large or small, it will surely he interesting and enjoyable.

 

THE BOSTON MEETING OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.

The fifty-seventh annual meeting of American Medical Association which began at Boston on June 5 was the largest and most notable in its history. There were about five thousand members in attendance; the scientific sessions improve from year to year, and the organization becomes more efficient and influential. Washington, New York and Boston are the three chief scientific centers of this country. Of the one thousand leading scientific men 119 are in Washington, 119 in New York and 85 in Boston-Cambridge. But historic continuity has been longest maintained at Boston, and it seems to lend itself better than any other city to a large scientific gathering. There the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Educational Association and now the American Medical Association have held their largest meetings. The governor of the Mate and the mayor of the city maintain the tradition of being gentlemen, while a welcome from President Eliot gives distinction to any gathering. The conditions in Boston are more nearly those of an English city, and the formal functions, the receptions and the garden parties pass off more smoothly and with less artificiality and aimlessness than in other American cities.

After the greetings of the opening session. Dr. Louis McMurtry, of Louisville, Ivy., the retiring president, introduced the president elect, Dr. William J. Mayo, of Rochester, Minn., who made the annual address. It was concerned mainly with the organization of the medical profession and its relations to the public, emphasizing, though perhaps unconsciously, the trades union character of the association. Among the topics reviewed were: the need of union to promote not only the interests of the profession, but also the welfare of the public; the function of the medical profession in enlightening the public in regard to sanitation, the dangers from poisonous nostrums and the need of compulsory vaccination; the improvement of the army and navy medical departments; the supervision of medical schools and reciprocity in medical licenses; the relations of physicians to the insurance companies, contract practise, and hospital abuse by patients who are able to pay; the financial position of the physician and the evil of accepting commissions from specialists; the strained relations between medicine and pharmacy. In conclusion Dr. Mayo said: "The vital need of the medical profession is a harmonious organization—an organization that will encourage right thinking and good usage among ourselves, help to secure needed medical reforms, compel redress of grievances and promote and encourage the highest interests of its individual members: and in this lies the future usefulness of the profession as a whole."

The organization of the association has resulted in the 'house of delegates,' representing the medical profession through the states. The county medical societies unite in a state society and the state societies in the national association. The subjects dis-