Iowa State Medical Society

The twenty third Annual meeting of the Iowa State Medical Society convened at Des Moines, May 26, with an unusually large attendance of permanent members and delegates from county societies. A large delegation was also present from the Illinois State Medical Society.

Many Valuable reports were presented by committees appointed for that purpose, and were discussed by the Society.

The financial condition of the Society is such as to enable the publishing committee to present a copy of Transactions this year.

Prof. W.T. Peck, of Davenport, was elected President, and S.B. Thrall, of Ottumwa, Secretary.

Pending the session:

Dr. Lewis, of Albia, offered a resolution requesting the appointment of a committee to prepare a bill for the creation of a State Board of Health in Iowa. The resolution was referred to the Committee on Legislative enactments.

Dr. Robertson, of Muscatine, presented an interesting report on “Sporadic Cholera” which elicited an animated discussion.

Dr. Cowden, of Bellview, presented a thesis on “Puerperal Fever.”

Dr. A.C. Simonton, of Mitchellville, presented a report on “Alcohol in Typhoid Fever.” The essay took vigorous ground against such use, and presented the argument with spirit and force; this elicited the liveliest discussion of the session.

A communication from the Centennial Managers was presented, and Dr. McCullough offered a resolution directing the appointment of a committee to prepare and present to the Centennial meeting a history of the science of Medicine in Iowa.

Dr. Blanchard offered a resolution requesting the Medical Schools of the State to adopt a preparatory course of study for their students, equal to the requisites for admission to the State University and also making the same request of physicians taking students to prepare for the practice of medicine.

Dr. Hinrichs, of Iowa City, offered a resolution reaffirming the action of the Society last year in reference to the establishment of an asylum or school for idiotic children. Adopted.

The subject, “Women as Physicians,” reported upon by Dr. W. Watson, of Dubuque, elicited considerable discussion pro and con. Dr. Watson says that one failure, nor a series of failures, do not denote entire want of ability, neither does one success, nor a series of successes, denote the absolute possession of it. Education includes all things necessary to make a perfectly developed person. The removal of all force from one centre to another is dangerous. Every organ and function is necessary, and when fully developed contribute grace and power. In order to make perfect women there must be less labor for girls when growing. Physiological obstacles exist against the education of the sexes in the same channels. Marriage is not optional, but a necessity with every woman. Celibacy is requisite for even a moderate degree of success. The activity and intensity of emotion possessed by women, while an attractive feature to their character, are obstacles to their success. They must meet men on the same field, and ask no favors.

Dr. Warne could not agree with the write, and thought woman as capable of great physical labor as man.

Dr. Caldwell said young ladies in schools were equal, if they do not excel, their brothers at the same age they have more attainments.

Dr. Cooper said in his school days those young ladies who took proper care of themselves were equal to the young men, and could not be surpassed by them, the difficulty is that they do not practice the laws of health.

Dr. Peak said, in his opinion, woman did not lack the education, but she could not perform domestic and social duties and practice medicine.

[Source: The Medical and Surgical Reporter, Philadelphia, July 3, 1875. D.G. Brinton, M.D., Editor.
Transcribed & submitted by Linda Rodriguez]

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