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Annual Oration of 1888

Treatments in Medical Practice

Orator: George M. Morse, M.D.

Synopsis of Oration:

Dr. Morse believes it is worthwhile for doctors to reflect on and share their successes in medical practice. He proceeds to do so, quickly relating cases, treatment, and the favorable results. At the same time he discredits many popular treatments.

Microbes are his next focus, and he is quick to point out that they are not entirely harmful, that many live beneficially in the human system. He brings up the possibility of using bacteria to treat diseases by having the bacteria kill the harmful bacilli. Next he deals with pharmaceuticals, evaluating them on their popularity and effectiveness. The microscope, once considered frivolous, now has become an integral part of a physician's practice. Preventive medicine, the new form of medical practice, has also taken off since the discovery of the germ theory. He produces a tirade against the physical and moral health of girls brought up in contemporary society. They are small and weak and many are infertile and few can nurse their child. "The demands of custom and of fashion" have produced a generation of these girls. He suggests that they cease to wear constricting clothing and not be required to maintain a strict study and social schedule, as both tax the girls at the expense of their health.


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