« ForrigeFortsæt »
will be noticed that the fees in the Southern schools are uniformly high, those most recently established having a scale as high as the largest and most favored schools of the North. Among the Northern schools, the scale of fees varies from the lowest of the Southern schools to the price of the parchment for a diploma. If the scale of fees indicates anything as regards the estimate of the school of its educational advantages, and the value of a thorough medical education, this exhibition of figures shows a vastly higher appreciation of a medical education at the South than at the North. The next most striking feature in the schools is the almost universal interest now manifested in clinical instruction. This is indeed the most hopeful sign of the times. Heretofore the importance which the schools attached to clinical advantages depended entirely upon the facilities which their particular location happened to afford. The school so unfortunate as to have a situation distant from any hospital or infirmary, loudly decried clinical instruction, and many will remember that a venerable professor went so far a few years ago as to regard it as absolutely injurious to the student. Schools situated in our lake and seaport towns saw their advantage, and vaunted their facilities for clinical instruction, and, not unfrequently, published in their annual circulars a list of all the medical institutions of the town, many of which were not even open to a transient visitor. Although clinical instruction, as given in
our colleges and hospitals, lacks system, and is as inefficient as it well can be, still we attach to it so much importance, that we regard this evident desire on the part of the schools to afford such advantages to their pupils as in the highest degree encouraging. Again, it will be noticed, that nearly all of our most flourishing schools have large Faculties, and lengthened courses of instruction, several extending their terms to five months. This fact is worthy of notice, as it is due to the direct influence of the American Medical Association. In concluding these desultory remarks, which the opening of the medical session has suggested, we may add that a careful observation of the history of our educational bodies for the last few years, reveals certain inevitable tendenIcies which afford reliable data from which to cast the horoscope of the medical schools of this country. Clinical instruction is to become the sine quâ non in a course of medical education, and hence those colleges located in populous towns which abound in public medical charities, will make the strongest appeal to students, and gain the largest classes. Those cities, again, which offer to the schools the largest advantages for hospital practice, will become inevitably the centres of medical education. Nor is it difficult, in the light of the above facts, to indicate the cities which are to be crowned with this proud distinction. That different sections of our wide extended republic must have their own schools of
medicine, in which the differences of diseases dependent upon climate are to be especially taught, is evident. The North must have her own schools, and the South and West must have theirs. Already the Pacific coast constitutes a fourth climatic division which must have its schools. The great emporia of these grand divisions of the country must become the centres alike of commerce and education. We trust the day is not distant when the schools of the country, which from their location can not give clinical instruction, will be abandoned. They are in every respect a great obstacle to thorough education. Even if they did not have the power of granting diplomas, but merely served to instruct the student in the primary branches, no useful purpose would be gained. They are organized in the interest of a few persons who have no regard for the true welfare of the student; their aims are low, and the student begins his studies at a disadvantage which many can not overcome. We believe every medical student should enter the schools located in large cities, and pursue his entire course under the discipline which they enforce. Nor should his diploma be granted until he has attended a systematic course of clinical instruction.
SUICIDE IN THE TOMBS.
YEAR ago our citizens were startled by the
A occurrence of one of the most public and
reckless murders in the annals of crime. In the latter part of a summer's day, on Broadway, at an hour when this great thoroughfare is crowded with pedestrians, a gentleman drew a pistol and deliberately shot a lady, the ball taking effect in the temple, and causing death at the expiration of several days. The homicide was witnessed by hundreds, and the murderer, arrested in the very tracks when the deed was committed, acknowledged that the crime was premeditated. But to go through the farce of a trial, he had to plead the bitter falsehood, "not guilty”—a legal fiction that has too often thwarted retributive justiceand was accordingly committed to the Tombs for safe keeping to await his trial. Meantime his counsel set earnestly at work to save their client from the doom that seemed impending, and the jolly public, satisfied that in due time it would be gratified with the details of another execution, peered occasionally into the prisoner's cell to ascertain that the victim was there, and thought no more of the matter. Some nine months after the
occurrence, the morning papers announced that this criminal had perpetrated self-destruction. Public curiosity was eager to know by what means an inmate of that sepulchral residence had been able to cheat the world of another hangman's tale. One of that quartette of coroners in which this city rejoices-ever vigilant on the scent of blood but never overtaking the game-forthwith set to work to unravel the mystery. Attended by a jury of his countrymen, resident in that delectable neighborhood, he proceeded with due ceremony to view the body, and determine by this enlightening process the nature of that peculiar visitation by which the prisoner had been so unexpectedly deprived of life. Whereupon it appeared that deceased had never been satisfied with the accommodations furnished him by the city, and had long ago determined to exchange them for quarters more secluded, and less exposed to public gaze. To this end he desired the transmigratory influence of a certain drug, and accordingly wrote the following recipe: "Strychnine, two shillings worth, to kill dogs." This message was intrusted to his attendant, with directions to obtain the article at a drug store. But the faithless servant thwarted his design by handing the prescription to the Warden, and thus revealed the secret purposes of his master. A close watch was now placed over his cell, and every precaution taken to prevent the prisoner's self-execution. But intent on his purpose, and undaunted