Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
except in the negative way of contradistinction from homeopathy. But inconsiderate assent to such misleading characterization of rational medicine by "physicians who are not sectarians" is altogether another matter. Twenty-two years ago, in an essay on "The Prevalent Misuse of the Term Allo¬ pathy," read before the American Academy of Medicine, the writer took occasion to say: Well-educated and well-bred people, whom we can not charge with intentional discourtesy, whom we can not suspect of any
... not suspect of any dis¬ position to wound our sensibility, so habitually use the word in common conversation that there is no hope of escape from the infliction except by revolutionary procedure. But this revolution must begin at home. We must aim the first blow of resistance at the foes of our own household. What only stirs our impatience with the unprofessional offender should provoke active resentment against the sinner in our own ranks. There are too many in the household of faith in the attitude of indolent acquiescence in the misuse of the word in question, and even of tacit acceptance of its implied reproach and its transparent falsity. Similarly inappropriate and inconsistent in this age of un¬ paralleled activity, progress and achievement, is the term "Old School" physician, which is still encountered in some parts of the country in the profession as well as out of it. What have we to do with the old except so far as it concerns the new? The leaders of thought and action are in the forefront of in¬ vestigation, and the rank and file are imbued with the spirit of advancement. To apply such epithets as "allopath" and "old school" to the faithful workers who are patiently solving the intricate problems before us, who are emancipating medi¬ cine, the science and the art, from the mists and shadows, and widening it into the infinite capabilities of new life and larger liberty, is a form of perversity which is exasperating to say the least. And if, as appears from your significant quotation, there are those among us who do not properly resent the ob¬ noxious "pathy" when applied to the comprehensive range and character of our professional objects and labors, and in whose ears such sophistical terms leave no jarring dissonance, there is evidently room for missionary work within our own ranks. So long as the profession itself submits to or winks at such misrepresentation there can be no terms of compro¬ mise, no middle ground of tolerance; all that is left is de¬ mand for unconditional surrender.