Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 76.djvu/341

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NO plan for improving American medical education has been more widely advocated the past year than the establishment of a department of tropical medicine in our medical schools. Although we now have such possessions in the tropics as Porto Rico, the Canal Zone, the Philippines, the Hawaiian and other islands of the Pacific, not to mention our semi-tropical southern states, instruction in tropical diseases and conditions has not kept pace with the increased need. The founding of a school of tropical medicine in the United States was first suggested by the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal in the same year that two schools of tropical medicine were planned for England. Since England was the first to establish such a school, let us look toward that country.

Up from the Jewish quarter of the city, on the crest of Brownlow Hill, stands Liverpool University, famous, as some one has said, for its zoologist, its physiologist and its professor of tropical medicine. Entering beneath the tall Victoria Jubilee Tower with its clock and Latin inscription, and crossing the yard, one comes to the row of buildings containing the Thompson-Yates and Johnston laboratories, the former and present homes of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. It was the work of this institution which caused a New York physician, when describing the advantages a medical student can get abroad, to write, "Liverpool leads in tropical medicine."

Although the school was founded a few months after the plans for its rival in London had been published, it was, nevertheless, the first to begin work. Its opening days were not darkened by any unfortunate incident, yet they were clouded by the lack of those favorable circumstances which have made the London school what it is to-day. The institution at Liverpool was not founded by the government, it had no grant nor assured income, nor even government recognition, hence it could not expect to get as many students as its rival. Some of these obstacles were removed later, yet they were important in determining the lines along which the school must work. A school which could not hope for much through excellence in teaching must look for recognition through research.

The necessity for conducting successful research was met by the appointment of Major Ronald Ross as professor of tropical medicine. The researches of Major Ross prior to his appointment at Liverpool