Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/563

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And again he says:

At that time there were many among the younger doctors who, in despair about their science, gave up all therapeutics, and took to empiricism.

This was from a scientific man, who had much to do with the changes about to come, and perhaps somewhat biased; but we have the view of Stieglitz, an "old and learned practitioner," expressed in 1840:

German medicine was sunk so low and is so emasculated as to require any sort of shaking up. Whatever gives it a new direction will be wholesome, though new errors or possibilities may result therefrom.

But, to continue Helmholtz's remarks:

The right kind of work brought forth its fruits much sooner than many had hoped. The introduction of mechanical notions into the theories of circulation and respiration, a better insight into the phenomena of heat, the more minutely elaborated physiology of the nerves, speedily produced practical results of the greatest importance; the microscopical examination of parasitic tissues, the stupendous development of pathological anatomy, led irresistibly from nebulous theories to real facts.

As Helmholtz was born in 1821 his point of view is that of one who saw both the old and the new; the old in his student days, the new as one of those who labored to bring about the change. His view is largely that of the scientist, but we have fortunately the reminiscences of another, a practitioner of medicine, who labored as a student of medicine in those days of rapid change. I refer to Abraham Jacobi, our own Jacobi, "the father of pediatrics," who studied, as he tells us in his McGill address, "in three universities from 1847 to 1851, in Griefswald, Göttingen and Bonn." Referring to this period, he says:

I have lived under the eyes of and contemporaneously with great men and during the development of modern medicine. . . not as a cooperator, it is true, but as an interested looker-on, when great things happened.

Aside from Vienna, where Rokitansky taught, there were

only two places in all Germany in which pathological anatomy could be learned. One of them was Würzburg, there was Virchow, the other was Göttingen, there was Frerichs. So to Göttingen I went in search of pathological anatomy. . . . At the same time I looked for the advantages of chemical laboratory work under Wiggers and Wohler.

Among the scientific happenings of Jacobi's first medical year (1847) are the following: Helmholtz's address on the conservation of energy; the use of ether anesthesia in obstetric practise by Hamner and in dentistry by Delabarre (first used by Warren at Boston in 1846); Liebig's researches on meats; the employment of prismatic glasses by Kreke and Bonders; the first use of chloroform by Simpson; the employment of Duchenne of faradization in the treatment of paralysis; the discovery of unstriped muscle fibers by Kölliker and the studies by Semmelweis of the etiology of fever in puerperal women.

Among the events of the next five years, during three of which he was a student and two a political prisoner, Jacobi mentions: Bunsen's quantitative analysis of urea, the founding of spectral analysis, the use