Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/867

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

by the figures, is elaborate and often graceful. The whole volume, especially these catalogues, is lavishly illustrated, containing 154 full-page plates, many of them colored, besides thirty-five figures in the text.

Sixth Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Illinois, John H. Rauch, M. D., Secretary. Pp. 324.

Among the peculiar functions of this board, with the operation of which the present report largely deals, is that of the execution of the act to regulate the practice of medicine in the State. The medical profession is thus brought within the scope of sanitary laws, and under responsibility to a body with power. It is the duty of the board to issue certificates authorizing practice in the State to "all who furnish satisfactory proof of having received diplomas or licenses from legally chartered medical institutions in good standing." It became necessary to determine what was "good standing," and what institutions came under it. To define the term, the consensus of leading members of the profession and the faculties of medical colleges, in answer to letters soliciting their opinions, was taken. Then test questions were sent out to the colleges, the answers to which determined whether they came up to the standard. In evidence of the improvement in the standards of medical education, it is stated that, whereas in 1880 fourteen medical schools in the United States required of candidates for admission evidences of preliminary education, ninety schools now require them; eighty schools give instruction in hygiene, to seventeen in 1880; and twenty-three make attendance on three or more courses of lectures a condition of graduation, to eight in 1880, while fifty-six others arc making tentative efforts toward the same point. The board is issuing a series of "Preventible Disease Publications," to which have been added during the year circulars on the prevention and control of scarlet fever and of diphtheria, and upon the sanitary features of typhoid fever and the prevention of its spread. These publications are in demand, and are often reprinted in the newspapers. Some of them have also been issued in German and in the Scandinavian languages. Nearly half the volume of the report is occupied with the lists of licensed physicians and midwives.

Notes on the Opium-Habit. By Asa P. Meylert, M. D. Third edition. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 47.

The purpose of this publication is to make a plea for more humane methods of treating the opium-habit than have heretofore prevailed. The author believes that no disease known to man demands such varied treatment as this of opium. "The habit was formed to relieve a single symptom of diverse disorders, namely, pain. . . . The original disease often remains in abeyance, ready to break forth when the drug is discontinued, and, if this disease be not cured, the habit is not cured." Again, the habit itself provokes disease, and this must be treated variously. There is, therefore, no specific for the opium-habit. There is, likewise, no quick cure for it. The present edition of the book has been thoroughly revised and largely rewritten. Since the first publication of the "Notes" the author has found the opium-habit more widely prevalent than was first surmised.

Comparative Physiology and Psychology. By S. V. Clevenger, M. D. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co. Pp. 258. Price, $2.

The secondary title of this book characterizes it as "a discussion of the evolution and relations of the mind and body of men and animals." Its intention is to elaborate, as far as possible, a practical mental science which will reconcile the observations of anatomists, psychologists, and pathologists, with direct reference to the more intelligent treatment of insanity. Insanity, the author believes, will be better understood, and its treatment will become more scientific in proportion to the development of psychology, based upon comparative microscopic anatomy, and a physiology into which molecular physics shall enter more in the future. The system under which the metaphysicians have studied mental workings is regarded as having been so insufficient and one-sided, and their deductions often go absurd, as to discourage honest investigators and throw discredit on the pursuit. But a more sensible psychology has been evolved under the influence of such thinkers as Herbert