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is boundless, and the rewards of fame and self-approbation, where private fortune permits it, are as extensive; but the business of the world must not be at a stand while individuals are endeavouring to enlarge and improve the present stock of human knowledge. The dissemination of what is already known, is preferable to having physicians and surgeons universally employed in prosecuting discoveries.
Students formerly were obliged to learn by rote the whole theory of medicine, before they were allowed to see any thing of the practice; so that it was scarcely possible for them to distinguish between the useful and useless parts of the knowledge, which they had been taught in the schools. But now they have the advantage of clinical lectures, where,' visiting the patients along with the professor, and listening to his instructions on each case, they have opportunities of learning theory and practice at the same time: they actually see the varying and complicated symptoms of diseases; they may observe the operation of different reniedies, and can exercise their own judgment, both as to the prescriptions in each par: ticular instance, and in comparing what they see of nature with what they have been taught by their books and masters. The student should keep exact notes, taken on the spot, of all le sees, hears, or observes, at these clinical lectures : because he will thus early in life acquire a collection of facts, and a register of accurate experiments, to which he can afterwards refer with confidence. Such notes should contain, carefully separated from the facts, whatever hints are suggested by ingenious persons, or whatever occur to the student at the moment; suggestions and reflections noted down at the time when the objects are present usually prove more valuable than all the recollections of the most retentive memory. It will be more useful to a student to take such notes, than to write down word for word all the lectures and opinions he hears on the theories of medicine and chemistry. Opinions can be more easily recalled to mind than the minute circumstances of cases and facts, because opinions are connected with trains of reasoning, and if the reasoning be understood, it will secure the recollection of the deduction. Besides, facts are more requisite to the student of medicine than opinions, which he can find registered and repeated sufficiently in books. Formerly it was necessary for every young physician, who hoped to be distinguished, to garnish his writings and his conversation with quotations from Galen and Hippocrates ; but now it is not necessary
To gather husks of learning to the last,
Without involving himself in any literary parties, it will be useful to a young man at the university to be a member of hiterary and scientific societies, where he may become acquainted with the most ingenious of his fellow-students, and where he may, by speaking or writing on scientific subjects, distinguish himself among his cotemporaries. He will also, among those societies of young men, hear the medical opinions of professors, and authorities and systems, ancient and modern, canvassed ; his own knowledge will be sifted; he will be obliged to give reasons for his medical belief, and to con. solidate his floating notions. All this will be useful to him, though perhaps the continual discipline of contradiction may be disagreeable, and though the disputatious habits, and unceremonious manners of some of his antagonists may be offensive. Even the disgust he may feel from these circumstances will be beneficial: it will prevent him from imitating the rudeness, while he profits by the acuteness of the disputants.
The custom of writing inaugural dissertations is excellent; students give a specimen and measure of their abilities and attainments by their theses: but much technical knowledge and some barbarous Latin are necessary to be acquired for the purpose of standing an examination, and obtaining a degree. The grinders, or crammers, or by whatever other name these scientific setters up may be called, must do their part; and after the purpose has been effected, and the degree obtained, the young physician may then be allowed to sort the mass of heterogeneous knowledge, which was stowed into his memory for the occasion; he may throw aside for ever what is useless, and retain only what is valuable.
It is scarcely necessary to observe, that the young physician must, if he hope to obtain experience or practice, attend the hospitals in London. The son of an eminent and popular physician, being too fine or too indolent a gentleman to go regularly through his attendance at the hospitals, and ex- . pecting to rise at once to eminence by the assistance of his father's name, found his mistake when it was too late, and never got into practice. However painful some of the circumstances attending this course may be, it is absolutely
necessary, and highly useful. Before he begins to practise, the young physician has an opportunity of seeing experiments tried upon a large scale in hospitals, and he may acquire anticipated experience and medical acumen. Besides, its being known that he has steadily pursued this course is an assurance to the world, that he cannot be ignorant of the usual practice of physicians. After having gone through this part of his duty, a year or two may be advantageously spent in travelling, to acquire a more extensive knowledge of the world, to form his manners, and to enlarge his understanding. During his travels he should endeavour to make himself acquainted with all foreigners of eminence in science, especially with those of his own profession, and he should obtain from them all possible information relative to the state of science in different countries. He should also cultivate literary society in general; he may, while he is conveyed from place to place, if he read in a carriage, acquire local knowledge of the country through which he travels, and he may add to his stock of foreign literature what may enliven and adorn his conversation, and recommend him to his patients. Even infidels, men who would as soon believe in a priest as a physician, have been, if not converted to faith in medicine, at least brought to acknowledge, that their health has been much benefitted by the conversation of medical men. Even that arch enemy of the faculty, who actually died acting his own Malade Imaginaire, was brought to this confession ; for the habitual malice in the wording of it, he must be pardoned. so. So, Moliere," said Lewis the Fourteenthi, “ after all, I find so you have a physician! What do you do with him?"
“ Please your majesty, he entertains me by his conversation ; “ he orders me medicines; I don't take them, and I get “ well."
Some eminent British physicians have been men of literature as well as of science, and have been able to amuse the ennui of their nervous patients, to mitigate the severest sufferings of body, and to sooth the yet more intolerable anguish of grief by the exertion of their talents in amusing and instructive conversation, and by the happy use of the resources of literature and true philosophy. There are times, when cordials can be administered only to the mind; when neither poppy nor mandragora can medicine the sufferer to rest. In reading this passage, many persons will probably recollect with gratitude instances of the kindness and ability of some friendly physician, who has supported their spirits in hours of sickness and sorrow. These feelings of gratitude and affection, which every good physician raises in the hearts of his fellow-creatures, are his best reward, a recompense for all his toil and anxiety, far superior to the highest mercenary gratification, that he can receive. It is the peculiar advantage of this profession, that it affords continual opportunities of exercising all the noblest virtues and the highest faculties of human nature. This is the exalted and just point of view, in which a young physician should see his profession; and his predilection for it may be confirmed by the united testimony of men of the highest talents, and of the most extensive knowledge of the world.
“ There is no end of my kind treatment from the faculty.