A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 7 of 724
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MEDICAL CORRE PONDENCE.
writer. I had even gone so far as to prepare many notes upon this
subject, and had accumulated a mass of facts, derived from the expe-
rience of others as well as my own most careful observation, and,
while I admit that this intention has never been entirely dismissed
from my mind, yet the cares of a most laborious practice, and an unaf-
fected diffidence of my ability to ensure or merit success, together with
a fear of being deemed presumptuous and the dread of failure, have
hitierto deterred me. Encoitaged by your most flattering invitation to
undertake what so many of you are equal, if not more competent to
perform, I will venture on the task; but in doing so, I shall not rely
alone on my own feeble and unsupported abilities, which you are
pleased so much too highly to estimate, but shall expect to receive
from each of you, and the members of the profession generally, a cor-
dia! and welcome assistance.-We have a common, not an individual
aim to accomplish.
Some observations upon the manner in which, in my opinion, such
a work ought to b e written, may not be here inappropriate, and I rely
upon your indulgence if I detain you with a few.-Works styling
themselves of "l)ollestic Medicine," have deluged the country, not
only to the prejudice of the profession, (which is in this respect of minor
importance) but to the abuse of the public, and the great sacrifice of
human life. Any work upon medgine which pretends to dispense
with the necessity of calling professional aid in all cases of importance,
is in general a wicked imposture, or where presented in good faith, a
preposterous idea. The great desideratum is, a treatise, not so strictly
technical as to be confined in usefulness to the profession alone, but
while purely scientific, at the same time composed in that sIMPLE and
POPULAR style which renders subjects, however abstruse, comprehensi-
ble and even entertaining to the general reader. I do not mean that
it should not possess the necessary formulas of practice, but these
should be so blended with theory as to render the reason and the phi-
losophy of the employment of the remedies indicated clear and intelli-
gible-in short, a book, which would be a desirable addition to the
library of the practitioner, and moreover a valuable aid to every father
of a family, enabling him to act with understanding in cases of em-
ergency, to judge of the qualifications of the physician he might be
compelled to employ, and guard him against the imposition of those
ignorant empiries, the great number of whom I am surely not severe
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/7/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.