Men of Medicine (American Medical Association, 1938)

Men of Medicine (American Medical Association, 1938)


[Music] [Narrator:] In every US city and town, there is one house that everybody knows, the doctor. Available here are the services of a man who by law is privileged to practice the most respected of all professions. To today’s 165,000 men of medicine has come a vital trust to heal the sick and keep the healthy well. And to the nation’s 69 schools of medicine is entrusted the responsibility of passing on unbroken the inheritance of medical knowledge, of indoctrinating each young student with the traditions and ethics of his chosen profession. Here he must spend four long years. Here he must learn every physical detail, every living function of the human body. He must master the science of chemistry and biology. He must train his mind to grasp and make use of the accumulated knowledge of 20 centuries of medical research. And with his degree, Doctor of Medicine, he takes for himself the age-old oath of his profession, the Oath of Hippocrates. [All graduates:] Into whatever house I enter, there do I go for the benefit of the sick, and whatsoever I see or hear I will keep silence thereon, counting such things to be sacred secrets. [Narrator:] His scholastic life ended, the young doctor joins the hospital staff for the period of his internship. Here he is brought face-to-face with the realities of medicine and of life. [Nurse:] No, doctor, you hold him this way. [Narrator:] Here he gets his chance to practice firsthand the art of healing, and here from today’s great men of medicine, he absorbs the high tradition of surgery, ever-greater skills, ever-improving technique. [Music] In his chosen community, which from now on must provide his life and livelihood, the young doctor becomes the new doctor. Unforgettable to every doctor is his first patient, the first advice given, the first money earned, but keenest in his memory is every detail of his first big case. [Doctor:] Hello? Yes, this is Dr. Gibson. All right, I’ll be right over. [Music] Hello, son, how do you feel? [Bobby:] I feel bad. [Mother:] You know Dr. Parsons is our family doctor. [Doctor:] Yes. [Mother:] He’s away on a trip, and I haven’t been able to locate him. [Doctor:] I see. [ Music ] All right, son, now you tell me if it hurts any place. [Bobby:] Right there. [Doctor:] How about there? Well, we’ll get you well, Bobby. [ Music ] I think he has a very bad appendix. I’d like to have him in the hospital. We may have to operate tonight. [Mother:] But Dr. Parsons is away. [Doctor:] I don’t think this can wait for Dr. Parsons. I’m sure I can handle it, Mrs. Sayward. [Mother:] All right, Dr. Gibson. [Narrator:] Like every man of medicine before him, the new doctor must now accept complete responsibility for a life. [ Ambulance siren ] With his patient in the hospital, to check his diagnosis he orders laboratory tests. Analysis of the blood will reveal the degree of infection and the toxic system. He finds that pain has become localized, that around the appendix the abdomen grows rigid under pressure. This he knows indicates a gangrenous appendix calling for immediate surgery. [ Music ] But not until the hospital’s laboratory completes its white corpuscle count is he ready to make his decision. [Doctor:] White blood count 16,400, 95 percent [?], thank you. Operating room, please. This is Dr. Gibson. [Narrator:] His decision made, into action go those who must prepare for the new doctor and his patient. Surgical nurses select the 60-odd instruments the doctor must have at hand. Sterilized in live steam the scalpels, clamps, and reflectors are laid out in precise formation. From super-heated ovens come the surgical robes and dressings. [ Music ] From the moment the operative preparation is ordered, there begins a complex ritual evolved from the accumulated experience of all the great men of medicine, designed to protect the patient, remove pain and chance from the operating room. The greatest blessing to surgery is anesthesia. This was discovered less than a century ago by William Morton of Massachusetts and Crawford Long of Georgia, and once ridiculed as being a worthless experiment. [ Music ] From the bacterial discoveries of Louis Pasteur and the development of antisepsis by Joseph Lister, the surgeon knows how to protect his patient and himself from infection. [ Music ] No precaution is too extreme, no safeguard too trivial. It is the duty of each nurse, each assistant, to anticipate every need of the man in command, for on him now rests all responsibility. Success must now depend solely on the skill of his hand and in any emergency on the speed and wisdom of his decision. [ Music ] [ Clanging of instruments ] [Nurse:] Fourteen, the sponge count is correct. [Doctor:] Thank you. [ Music ] [Narrator:] Within little more than half an hour, the new doctor has justified his 10 long years of training. [ Music ] Before dawn, a boy who at midnight was in danger of death is on his way to getting well again. [ Music ] Self-imposed responsibility of the medical profession today, as in the past, is the free and voluntary medical service to those whose need is great, whose resources are small. In hospital clinics, the doctor receives no compensation for his services, other than upholding the great and good tradition of his profession. [Music] And heavy is the doctor’s burden, for with the Depression adding to the ever-present problem of patients unable to pay, with the free clinics now filled with those who in past years had been able to meet the doctor’s fee, the medical profession finds that the US doctor is contributing in free service over $1 million each day. [ Music ] But beyond the reach of the facilities of hospital clinics, even out of range of any doctor’s care, are hundreds of thousands of US citizens, and in many out-of-the-way sections whole counties are too poor to support a single doctor. [ Music ] Though the health of the nation is by and large the best in the world, among rural Negros, unattended sickness and uncontrolled disease is pushing up the national death rate. [ Music ] Based on the findings of a three-year survey of the state of the nation’s health, broad recommendations are made by the crusading Chief of the US Public Health Service, Dr. Thomas Parran, Jr. [Dr. Thomas Parran, Jr.:] Our first need is to join in a nationwide effort against those causes of disease and death for which we have scientific weapons of unquestioned power. Syphilis, tuberculosis, cancer, pneumonia, maternal and infant mortality are examples. To help doctors who are fighting against tremendous odds in remote rural areas, we need 500 new hospitals. The underprivileged third of our population, when seriously ill, needs help from tax funds. The health of the people is quite properly a concern of government. [Narrator:] Agreeing fully with Dr. Parran’s analysis of the needs of the US sick, the profession is split sharply on the methods by which it shall distribute the benefits of medicine. At New Haven, Yale’s able diagnostician Dr. John Peters, demands that the health needs of the people be met by tax money. This school of thought believes that medical schools should be subsidized by the federal treasury. They insist that for those who need and cannot afford medical care and hospitalization, the government should pay both hospital and doctor. And for every mother and her child they demand the best of medical care at government expense. In New York City, medical sociologist Dr. Kingsley Roberts heads the movement for cooperative medicine. By the cooperative plan now operating in 16 US communities, individuals and families by paying dues of a few cents a day are entitled to general or specialized medical care and limited hospitalizations. [ Music ] But at the Chicago headquarters of the American Medical Association, is the spokesman for the majority of its 110,000 doctor-members, able publicist Dr. Morris Fishbein, who opposes any radical departure from long-established medical practice. [Music] [Dr. Morris Fishbein:] The House of Delegates of the American Medical Association has repeatedly declared that it is willing to cooperate with the government or with any other authorized agency in securing a wider distribution of medical care. Everyone should have good medical service, but we insist that the practice of medicine is a doctor’s problem. The doctor is the only one entitled by training, by experience, and by law to take care of the sick. Medicine is still a profession. It must never become a business or a trade. Never the subservient tool of a governmental bureaucracy. [Music] [Narrator:] Welcomed by all the nation’s doctors is the public’s new and sober concern over the problems of medicine. [Music] Already more and more communities are taking inventory of their hospital’s institutional equipment, the costly machinery of diagnosis and therapy. They are learning that besides the long-familiar accessories of medical science, there is important new apparatus. A basal metabolism machine by which is detected glandular disturbances. An air chamber whose pulsating pressure stimulates the flow of blood through the clogged channels of weakened blood vessels. New hydrotherapeutic baths useful in treating limbs crippled by infantile paralysis. A new weapon on the war on syphilis, the delicate artificial fever chamber, which can raise body temperature, kill living germs in the bloodstream. A new, improved iron lung which breathes for a man when his own lung action fails. [Music] And this year, as books based on the life of doctors and the progress of medicine become popular best sellers, the public is learning of the doctor’s greatest weapon against disease, the triumphs of biological research, inexpensive, easily accessible. The proven vaccines of preventive medicine. The life-saving antitoxin serum for tetanus, diphtheria, and pneumonia. The life-sustaining hormones adrenaline, thyroxin, [?], and the epic-making discovery of Drs. Banting and Best, the all-essential insulin, which has made life possible for the diabetic, old or young. [Doctor:] Well, Louie has diabetes and he’s going to have to have insulin. [Louie:] What’s insulin? [Doctor:] Insulin is a new medicine that makes it possible for thousands of boys like you who have diabetes to live and play just like other boys. [Louie:] Supposing there wasn’t any insulin? [Narrator:] Rising today is a generation whose lifespan no man of medicine will predict. For the science which has added a decade to our days knows that whatever great discoveries lie behind it, immeasurably greater ones lie
ahead. Time marches on. [Music]

6 Replies to “Men of Medicine (American Medical Association, 1938)”

  1. In 1986, my brother Alvin… (formerly of the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles!)… arrived DOA at Mount Diablo Hospital in CA. He was placed on a machine and died THREE MORE TIMES during heart surgery. When the excellent surgical team finished with the quadruple bi-pass operation, they said, "NOW it's up to GOD!"… and they disconnected the heart/lung machine. Alvin's heart continued to pump blood! ALLELUIA!
    "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
    Proverbs 2:6!
    Remembering Doctor Salter in Robbins, Illinois, and Doctor Winston in Harvey, Illinois. Great Black Doctors for their people. Robbins was a VERY poor village, but Doctor Salter stayed there. No one would ever dream of suing these precious Doctors!

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    And Philip Sansone, MD are subjects of Hell in Medicine having eliminated a generation of youth for the local vicinity of Albermarle County.

    Both Philip Sansone, MD and Dan McClure are good for Hell living and dead. Those are their career records. Signed Joe Zao, Ddiv, Miami, Florida Modern Apostles Church

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