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The generic term physician is, however, quite sufficient to designate both the surgeon and the physician as they are now styled.
Medicine began to advance rapidly from the middle of the eighteenth century, but its march has been marvelous in the nineteenth century during which so many discoveries were made in general, special and morbid anatomy, in the development of the embryo, in the specialisation and significance of bacteria, in bio-chemics, in therapy and in other collateral branches; and there are yet to be made much greater advances for ages to come. Its ever progressive tendency and its broad eclecticism, render medicine one of the most interesting and fascinating of studies; laying under contribution, as it does so extensively, nearly every other branch of science, and keeping a steady vigorous step with all in their grand onward march; so that in the cultivation of medical science there will always be abundant opportunities for discoveries and for distinction. The twentieth century students who shall have delved into medical history will fully
grand état. The Salernum physicians were called mires. In the "Roman de la Rose," mire is employed to designate those who ministered to internal as well as those who cured external diseases. Mire, mege and miege appear to have had the same signification and to have been derived, by some writers, from the Latin mederi, to heal. It is needless to add anything more to this abstract from the interesting though very long logophilic dissertation of Girodat, except to say he acknowledges that the word mire signified médecin-chirurgien as early as the tenth century or at least three hundred years before the time of Robert Le Myre. But according to Borel the old Gallic mire comes from muron unguent.-Loc. cit. Dujardin. p. 3., footnote.
realise how great were the difficulties and disadvantages under which their early predecessors labored in creating the art and science of medicine whose development was necessarily so slow. The first discoverer probably observed only the effect, the symptoms, while another learned the cause, and a third found the generic substance and its properties. Then arose investigators who discovered species and varieties of diseases; and long thereafter came those thinkers who were able to interpret the phenomena and apply remedial means appropriate to each species. It was not until the close of the eighteenth century that really began the systematic study of diseases on a truly rational basis, and this was the forerunner of the great progress made in the nineteenth century. The pioneers were Sauvages, Linnaeus, Cullen, and other eminent physicians. Nothing is more helpful to the modern student of the natural history of human diseases than the acquirement of a mastery in their nomenclature and classification. The requisite training gives him a precision in diagnosis, a degree of wisdom in prognosis, and a skill in therapy, which otherwise he could never attain.
The true physician of the present time is a biosophist devoted chiefly to the healing of human ills, to accomplish which he has made himself thoroughly acquainted with the structure and functions of the normal body of man and with deviations therefrom; with the nature and phenomena of morbid processes; with the best means of diagnosis; and with the properties, effects, and medicinal
value of the remedial agents employed; and is a wise prognostician; besides which he formulates rules for the prevention of disease, and thus ministers to public health. He is learned in the natural sciences and skilled in the art of healing. Hence his title physician. But his mission extends far beyond this. He is a friend of the family of whose secrets he is often the trusted custodian, judged by his high character to keep them inviolate as enjoined by the Father of medicine. He is also, on many occa sions the happy and blessed peace-maker in family feuds of long duration through some slight error on both sides, or credence in evil reports. When asked to sit in judgment, it is generally with the distinct understanding that both plaintiffs and defendants shall abide by his decision. This common occurrence has resulted in the happy reunion of families that had seemed to be hopelessly divided and that had lived in enmity for many years. He is sometimes consulted about contemplated marriages and his advice is generally followed. Would that this were much more frequent, for the good of the bride, of the groom, and of the progeny! The prudent young mother and the physician hold a conference, toward the close of each season, concerning the proper time to make a change in the character of the family's raiments, and is invariably guided by the advice she receives. The decision respecting the kind and amount of physical exercise adapted to the condition of each member of the family is also referred to the physician. Both parents, often solicitous about the literature to be cultivated by the
adolescents of the family, and aware of the influence reading matter exerts upon intellectual development and morals during that impressionable period of life, naturally appeal to their best friend the physician for suggestions. The site of a country residence for a young family is frequently determined by the physician with a view to salubrity. The farmer is wont to consult his neighboring physician, not only about his own and his family's health, but concerning the hygiene of his cattle and pigs, and the readiest mode of destroying the parasites that infest his trees or those that injure his crops.
On frequent occasions the physician is the family's arbiter bibendi and is well qualified for the office. When asked what and how much to drink, the quality and quantity of beverage he prescribes are generally accepted.
*Influence of the Physician on the Nation.-The physician can in no possible way serve the nation better than by teaching the mothers of the nation how to rear the children of the nation. It is the physician who comes in deliberate contact with the daily family life and who speaks and they believe. The physician is the physical guardian of the rising generation, and determines in a great measure the character of the spiritual, commercial and political life of the nation; in fact, he aids the people of the nation to receive what they have a right to demand. As a result of his having lived and lived nobly, there will be happier homes, fewer disappointed lives and less crime; in such a capacity, and from a standpoint of national work, the physician is the most important member of the community in which he resides. A more valuable man to the state or nation than a man in any other calling, who prepares the soil, and without sound bodies and normal minds, sacred and religious teachings are of little avail. Where the nation shall stand twenty-five or fifty years hence, and what position it shall occupy among the nations of the earth, depend more on the physicians of to-day than on any other calling whatever.-Charles Gilmore Kerley.
He is ever ready with the old saw-"good wine maketh glad the heart of man," but enjoins moderation and condemns the amount of imbibition that causeth something more than precordial gladness. He is generally an excellent judge of wine through his knowledge of its chemistry, and the high cultivation of his gustative and olfactive senses. Some of the best works on beverages in general and wines in particular have been written by physicians, as those of Sir Edward Barry, M.D.; Doctor Henderson, Doctor Thudicum, and several other bright lights of the profession, besides the charming poem, Bacchus in Tuscany, by Doctor Redi. In the country, when the physician is called upon to examine drinking water from wells or springs, his prompt statement of the results of such examination has often averted serious consequences of the use of polluted water. The potability of some particular milk, and even of certain tea or coffee infusions is not unfrequently left to his decision which is generally speedy, as it should be, regarding their safe or unsafe use.
The physician is also the family's arbiter edendi; prescribing the quality and quantity of food and its best mode of preparation to render it wholesome, tasty, and appetising; particularising the kinds best suited to the infant, the child, the adolescent, the adult, and the aged; and directing the cookery adapted to the sick. He regards the kitchen as a laboratory of alimentary chemistry conducted by a fair chemist from above stairs. For many ages, physicians have been noted for their