- Del Meyer, MD - https://delmeyer.net -

In the Beginning

Although our society was established in 1868, the written record occurred some 81 years later. The official publication of our predecessor society, “The Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement” began in September, 1950 as “The Bulletin.” Dr Charles E Grayson, MD, was the editor. There were reporters for Sutter General, Sutter Maternity, Mercy, and the County Hospital. Each hospital had a brief written report monthly. There were reports from the medical staff meetings of each hospital as well as the monthly Society meetings which met on the third Tuesday. There was a book review column and a “Sense and Nonsense” column. Dr Grayson, in his first editorial, indicated that “The Bulletin” was not intended as a newsy chit-chat to be discarded after read, but a voice for our interest… expression of our opinions.

The second issue in October proudly announced: “It’s assured: the society is going to own, operate and control is own telephone answering service. Plans have been completed and the society exchange will go into operation in December upon the completion and the distribution of the new telephone directories. Enough members have signed up for the service to assure its actual establishment.” The vote was 4 to 1 in favor of the society having its own exchange. The telephone company cooperated by making a large investment in cables and equipment for installation at our headquarters office. “It will play an important part in helping our society fulfill its guarantee of good medical care twenty four hours a day to the residents of this community. There was one number– Hudson 1-0157–which was advertised as the outlet for medical service day and night in the public interest.

Forty years ago…
In 1957, “The Bulletin” format changed from a standard typing page size to about half that, or the “catalog” size. The hospital column, “Around the Hospitals” had changed to include Sutter General, Sutter Memorial, Mercy, and County. Mercy announced that they found four new precious and much needed beds; Sutter formed a staff society; and County instituted a four year training program in pathology. The burning issue for the society was a three part series on the California Physicians Service. Physicians were complaining about not having a voice in setting the fees for its 13,000 members which were spread over an area 1,000 miles by 200 miles… all of whom were limited for reading time… A new method of artificial respiration for babies under two years of age was reviewed.

Twenty seven years ago…
The name of our official publication was changed to “Sacramento Medicine” on January 1, 1970. It began in newspaper format. The burning issues with lead articles included “Malpractice rates: Why do they climb?” “The AMA . . . Needless or Necessary” and “No chiropractic in Medicare, HEW urges.”


We hope to bring you vignettes of yesteryear as recorded in our archives on a monthly basis. If you have vignettes from “Yesteryear,” we’d be interested in your contribution to our ongoing historical perspective. We welcome your input.