Imágenes de páginas


175 pirated by anyone thirsting after fame, and who takes the trouble of ransacking some dusty, forgotten, yet valuable tome--a mode of discovery not unknown in medical literature. It is also too common that ambi. tious practitioners rush into print, and publish cases they may happen to treat, although similar ones have crowded the journals before, and though they do not even increase medical statistics. The publishing of cases which have pot arrived at their termination is also very undesirable. How fairly may a medical journal which does not foster this cacoëthes scribendi vel graphomania medica, quote for the heading of its variety column, quid novi sub Hippocrate. The habit of writing out correctly the notes taken during the day is not only useful in fixing on the mind facts, but it exercises in spelling and diction, which many students sadly fail in. As of other sciences, so of medicine is Bacon's aphorism true : Reading maketh a full man, writing an exact man, and speaking a ready man."

From the student's start a regular system of reading some two, three, or four hours daily should be arranged and persevered in, for thus will his time be much better spent than in desultory reading or “ making up" at special times. There is no time when the acquiring and reflecting powers are more active than in the early morning, the silence and brightness of which helps study. As a rule, Dublin students are not full readers, as the medical booksellers will prove. This may be said, indeed, of the whole Irish public, as contrasted with the English and Scotch ; but it is the fault of the schoolmaster devoted to classics, or may be often attri. buted to the want of high-class schools through the country, in which a taste for reading would be implanted. If students are exhorted to rely solely on grinding for acquiring knowledge, it will cause the want alluded to, and their mental powers cannot fail to become cramped and atrophied—if that professional term may be allowed-by disuse.

[blocks in formation]

It has been often remarked that for the first few weeks every student will show unremitting zeal in the hospital and school, and will exhibit an intense admiration for some popular teacher. This is so clearly recognised in one of the London hospitals, that it goes by the name of “Sibson fever," as that able physician is the usual favourite.

MEANS OF SUCCESS. Such, then, are the very ample means which are now at the command of the student, and it must be indeed his own fault if he does not profit by them, and subsequently succeed in the struggle of after life. To show that he may hope for this, let him weigh the words of Sir B. Brodie : “ Having had now a long experience in the history of medical students, and having been careful to watch their progress through life, I am satisfied that the only method by which success can be attained is that which I have pointed out-carnest work; and I may add that I have never known an individual who thus applied himself seriously and in earnest to his task whose exertions were not rewarded by a reasonable quantity of professional success, and such as would satisfy any but an inordinate ambition.” Students were never more impressively addressed than by the eloquent Lord Carlisle : “Remember that the business of education does not terminate with the college class or with the professor's lecture, but that every day of your lives

may add to your knowledge, and every moment of time may promote your improvement. Strive always for the highest exertions of usefulness, for these all men may aim at; but be content with any opportunity of exerting them, for these God must decide for you. I know not how many of you may become great, but I feel sure that all of you may become good and happy."



That those about to embark in the practice of medicine and surgery should be submitted to a severe, extensive, and searching examination the public weal demands, so as to enforce the acquisition of such knowledge as would avail in the actual treatment of disease. This test should be practical, and if so, the industrions self-taught student will find no difficulty in passing. It is unreasonable to compel a student to load his memory with everything he has acquired throughout the four years of study-many of the subjects being merely the instruments for learning others—for one final examination. It would be well if all the colleges pursued the course wbich the Royal College of Surgeous in Ireland nearly a quarter of a century ago adopted, of having two or more examinations-one at the end of the second year and the other final. This system, however, wasmuch opposed, and although supported by petition from seventy pupils of the college school, was for some time, discontinued. It has been revived in the present. quarterly examinations, with the difference that the first. examination does not take place till after the third willter session.

The London college and several other bodies now enforce similar regulations. Every subject which the student has attended should be embraced, as otherwise it is useless to demand his attention to them.

It is a serious, yet easily corrected fault in nearly all examinations conducted by the qualifying boards, that no prac



There were,

tical test of knowledge is adopted, and that a student may positively answer all questions put to him without having ever followed those methods of instruction which alone would fit him for the duties of his calling. It seems the soundest and most manifest way of ascertaining a candidate's fitness to treat disease, to require him to do so, after having arrived at an accurate diagnosis, before the examining board, and similarly in every other subject of medical study which is learned by practical means, proof of knowledge should be ren. dered by a demonstrative examination. doubtless, many obstacles in the way of this method, it being believed that words, the natural means of communicating ideas, were sufficient to show the candidate's fitness or incapacity for licence; but this has been abused, and it is notorious that persons have passed verbal examinations who were quite incapable of fulfilling the most ordinary duties of the healing art. These obstacles are being gradually removed, and the demonstrative method is rapidly, becoming adopted by all dicensing bodies. The examination should be divided into two portions-not, however, completely different, as some of the most essential subjects should be repeated at the second. For some time, and perhaps under peculiar circumstances, it might be allowable to pass both examinations at the same period. This practical plan of examining, the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, examiners adopted, as far as regards anatomy, in the examination for letters testimonials, since 14th December, 1858, and the following admirable scheme for the same method was devised as far back as 1845 by the council for fellowship examination (the London and Queen's Universities have adopted similar improve. ments) : “1st day—The candidates shall attend at the college from two till four o'clock, when they shall prepare written answers to questions proposed by exami.

2nd day-The candidates shall attend at an




hospital to be named by the council at the hour of two o'clock, when one or more patients shall be submitted to the observation of each candidate for such time as the examiners in medicine and surgery shall deem sufficient for taking notes of such cases. The candidates will then be obliged to attend in the theatre of the hospital for the purpose of being orally examined on the same. 3rd. day-The candidates shall attend at the theatre of the college at two o'clock, when a subject will be provided and the candidates required to perform such operations, and make such demonstrations as the examiners shall require.” This examination was to be held periodically, but as gentlemen in the public services require to be examined when on leave of absence, it should be held at other times as well.

The examination in such subjects as do not admit of much practical illustration should be partly written, and this would test the candidate's orthography and composition (which it might be desirable to count for), and would be just towards those whom timidity or vocal defects prevent from answering viva voce. The first examination should comprise anatomy and physiology (human and comparative), chemistry and principles of physics, materia medica and botany. This would not Trespass on the examiner's valuable time, as many candidates being examined simultaneously few such occasions would occur, and the most eminent of the profession would accept the office of examiner. In anatomy, bones, dried preparations, and the subject should be presented to him, and the candidate should be called on to name and describe the objects which they suggest for comment. He should be required to make a dissection of some important region or cavity (as one of the triangles of the neck, the axilla, the popliteal space, the ventricles of brain, or the posterior mediastinum), and should demonstrate, as if to the uninformed, each part brought successively into view. One dead body would thus

« AnteriorContinuar »