Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/230

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partments of experimental pathology, experimental medicine or research medicine. The title matters little, but the plan of the department should be broad enough to care for the problems of clinical medicine, and for this reason the word "medicine" should appear in the title rather than the word "pathology." Such a department should keep in close touch with the department of clinical medicine, should supplement the facilities of the various hospital laboratories, and should also work in cooperation with the fundamental laboratory sciences in order to insure no loss of opportunity in the prosecution of its problems and thus a realization of the greatest good to the school. The head of the department should be a man familiar with the problems of clinical medicine, trained preferably as a pathologist, and with sufficient knowledge of the possibilities of physiology and chemistry to apply the methods of these subjects to clinical problems. I say preferably a pathologist because the pathologist is more apt to combine clinical training with a knowledge of pathology, bacteriology and the principles of immunity than is the physiologist, chemist or pharmacologist, though any one of the latter might well head such a department. Certain it is that whatever his own training may have been, the director should, with his assistants, be able to utilize in the work of the department the methods of physiology, chemistry, bacteriology and experimental pathology. In other words, he should have a department capable of attacking a problem in medicine from any or all sides, including that of experimental therapeutics; and in order to make the work effective, he should have the use of beds in the university hospital.

The work of this department should be the investigation of clinical problems, and not of academic problems of pathology, chemistry or physiology. General practitioners, clinical assistants in the school and even those at the head of clinical departments are constantly meeting problems which demand solution, but find no adequate opportunity to investigate them in departments as now constituted. These men would find a place in the department suggested and should constitute an enthusiastic working staff which should be exceedingly productive in the advance of medical knowledge.

I may be over-enthusiastic about this matter, but I believe that departments such as I have outlined are a necessary part of every large university medical school, and must be developed eventually through the combined efforts of the pathologist and the clinician, who have naturally a greater interest in the problems of disease than have the men of other departments and who must have a research department devoted to their common interests.

A department of this type, whether independent or affiliated with the chair of medicine, I would recommend to every university which sees its way to procure endowment for research in medicine, for in a department of such broad scope lies the possibility of attacking many