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

One Hundred Forty Years Ago (Jones: 1857-1862)

This was a turbulent period in California medicine as the nation was dealing with abolitionists and slave holders. When the state society met in San Francisco in February, 1858, there was “debt; a lack of harmony,..too many living within their own cosmic bubble refusing to comprehend or see or help remedy a critical situation…” The retiring president, Dr Henry Gibbons in his final address stated “that our Society is in a pathological condition.” At the annual meeting in 1859, Dr Beverly Cole read a report on female immigration to this country.// “We find … young, inexperienced women… who at the most critical period of their lives, and danger to their chastity and virtue… removed from the guardianship and healthful advice of their mothers.. yield to the solicitations of the opposite sex and seductive allurements… when…two in every three females, who have reached the age of fifteen, to be victims of this dissipation…” Eight or 10 doctors walked out on the speaker. The Western Press took up what they designated an insult to western womanhood. The editor of the Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal stated “one more word and we are done with California Medical Societies, and their stupid and nauseous reports…”\\The state society again met in Sacramento February 8, 1860 with only 14 doctors present (down from 100) .

Forty five years ago (April 1952)
The president Dan Kilroy, MD, chided the membership in the president’s column for poor attendance at the monthly scientific and business meetings… A good portion of the Bulletin was taken up with “Around the Hospitals” in which reporters from each of the hospitals summarize their staff and hospital news… The Editorial Board of the Bulletin was struggling with whether they should continue the excellent quality and general air of a first class bulletin and lose money, or cut corners and show a profit. The editorial board by unanimous vote, decided to maintain a high quality bulletin for a “reputation is more easily destroyed than regained…” New society members included Robert C Lewis, MD, Richard C Ripple, MD, and Charles M Webster, MD… The editor, Hale Giffen, MD, offered thanks to Paul Guttman for his vision of the library now housed in Sutter Hospital which was expanding considerably. He notes that this library will eventually pass into the hands of the County Medical Society.

Thirty years ago (April 1967)
The lead cover article discusses the Health Manpower Revolution. The year 1967, one year after the introduction of Medi-Cal and Medicare, finds the government in a dilemma. Now that the laws… and regulations are drawn, there is an acute shortage of people to implement the programs… The President has ordered “crash” programs to provide manpower–to double the 100,000 nurses, technicians, aides, and orderlies now graduated annually. The articles outlines the various federal and state acts with huge expenditures to plan and develop health manpower programs… The society president, James Martin, MD, devotes his column to the previously adopted program for emergency care in the county based on a comprehensive study which now must be revised because of Medicare and Medi-Cal. The society activated a committee to make recommendations for emergency care… The editor, Howard Linder, MD, discussed the disappointment of society members with the present Bulletin format, which is more like a local Garden Society Newsletter rather than a classy lay-out with considerable substance and a variety of material. In this age of “Big Brother” government, the IRS has cast a shadow over publications of this type with their ruling on taxable advertising income. Several societies have eliminated advertising entirely and reduced their “Bulletins.” He states the entire matter boils down to money and whether or not added dues expense to improve the bulletin is justified. He concluded that a medical society of our size should have a more presentable publication rather than “press the zerox button” style to inform the membership of the bare necessities.

Hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories no longer need to advertise in the managed care environment. Without this revenue, is Sacramento Medicine important enough for our members that a portion of our dues should be allocated for its support?