M.D.’S ON THE MARCH Sweet Recollections could make pretty good hamburgers. He was really booking, but he cooked, too, and kept the domino players happy out in the shadowy, high-ceilinged, flat-floored room on the second floor over the loan shops and the Acey Deucey Clothing Store. He was altogether patient and friendly and ordinary. He lived with his long-suffering wife on South Presa street where it’s narrow and paved with bricks just past La Villita. I’ll never forget reading a story in the paper that he’d been slugged walking home one night and relieved of $1,800 he had on him. He’s up in Colorado or Mis; souri now. I got so I could read a scratch sheet pretty good. In fact, one time, when I went down to Galveston in 1955 to do a series, objective, you understand, on what was going on down there, I went into this bookie joint, read the scratch sheet, and placed my bet, just to prove the point, you see, and the nag came in and paid fifteen to two. You never quite forget your earlier training ; the child is father of the man ; as the twig is bent so is the M Y BROTHER AND I would hook up around that No. 1 pool table at Tray’s many a day. I got to where I could wield a pretty mean cue stick. Old Neddie was good, but while he’d not admit it now, or then, for that matter, as his social standing was at stake, I, his younger brother, was better. I was a sports writer for the San Antonio Express at the time. For respite from this lucrative but sometimes trying work, almost every night at dinnertime I would go across the street to a little cellar joint with a friendly bookie and four pool tables. There was another young reporter in the office named Larry Goodwin. You understand this was 1945 or so, and there wasn’t much competition for the jobs ; Larry was about 16 and I was about 15, give or take a year. He -was a shark ; he could skid a ball around the corner of a pocket so you’d think he was a swami. He was always better than me. Well, I played a few horses down there, too. What with all that $16 a week the Express was paying me, I had to do something with it, and being a good boy, I wasn’t going to do anything wrong with it, and af AUSTIN We are, ah, diverted this week by the monthly lesson in How To Be a. Doctor in the Good Old USA in the current Texas State Journal of Medicine. The first principle is, Stick Together. The second is, trace your ancestors back to the Mayflower and not Mayflower II, either. The profession will not tolerate ragged individualists, or recently imported idealists, either; except you can be true to yourself, If. Reading assignment I is entitled “The Inter-Doctor Phase of Medical Ethics,” by Dr. R.B.G. Cowper of Big Spring. For the benefit of those who watch television in the evenings we will summarize it here. “I think,” Dr. Cowper assays, “all doctors agree that the welfare of the patient comes first and that financial gain is subordinate to this welfare.” \(In fairness it must be noted that Dr. Cowper was writing before the redoubtable Dr. Kris, or Cris, or Crust, presented the parents of the boy in the well with the $1,500 bill “I would like to enlarge upon what doctors owe to their fellow doctors and to themselves.” he continues. “Patients often misunderstand o u r profession .. . . We should put ourselves in ‘the other doctor’s position and not be too ready to criticize his handling of the case. “For example, a patient who had been seeing his doctor with what appeared the first two days might call on a second doctor on the fifth day when he obviously was afflicted with poliomyelitis with paralysis. The second doctor should explain to him that what is now an obvious diagnosis was very difficult or impossible three days earlier. This will serve to strengthen the opinion of the patient of both doctors and make the doctors more compatible. “Or the alcoholic auto wreck victim who was sutured by the local doctor, in another town several days later confronts his own doctor who might think the suture job a sloppy one. If he should tell the patient he thinks it a sloppy job, he may be inadvertently slandering the suturing doctor and starting a law suit when the truth might be that the patient’s alcoholism and uncooperative behavior prevented a smooth job …. the old doctrine of saying nothing about someone unless we can say something good should prevail unless the welfare of the patient can be improved by speaking …. “We find in Hamlet : This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the daY, Thou canst not then be false to any man. “In evaluating a long story of a patient we should remember to explain properly to the patient in order not to discredit formerly his former doctors. Mutual respect and admiration i s thereby given a boost.” Thereend of Assignment I. You see, the point is, don’t tell the patient you think a fellow doctor has tangled up his intestines, he might file a lawsuit ; but, This above all : to thine own pelf be true, And it must follow, as the fright the pay, Thou canst not then be false to any manna. LESSON II. Assigned reading, “The Doctors’ Positive Program,” by Denton Kerr, M.D., Houston, Texas, in the same journal. Dr. Kerr is the incoming president of the Texas Medical Association and epitomizes the erudition, enlightenment, and just plain good breeding of our Texas doctors. To summarize the president’s address : “For almost two decades it has been said, all too often, that the physicians of America are too negativistic. Of course, this expression was originated by a group of peo AUSTIN I used to like to go to Herman Sons in San Antonio when they had the carnival in the courtyard out back. They had a whirling flip you could bet with 50-50 odds, and I had a very complicated theory with which I almost .broke the house, or, more properly, the shed, several times. This theory was that you have enough capital and keep doubling your bet until you win, and then you go back to the little bet and start the cycle again. A very fine theory, beautiful in its simplicity. One night, dallying at the sinful board while the parents thought I was proceeding homeward in an orderly fashion, the capital ran out. It was a shock, but I’ve been addicted ever since. I’m not sure -whether it’s entirely in my imagination or really happened, but it seems there was also a Catholic school somewhere back there that had games with 50-50 odds, proceeds to the poor students’ toothbrush fund, and the theory fell flat there so fast I gave it up forever. There was a marble table at a cafe around the corner from the Hom-Ond where I used to sack groceries and stack cans. This marble table had the most marvelous “ping” sound when you won a free game on it. After you’d get past a certain score every little whickey you hit made it go “ping” and “ping-ping-ping !” and you understand each ping was a nickel. All I can say now is I’m grateful I didn’t have that same feeling, a million dollar roll, and Monte Carlo . an easy walk around the bay and up the hill. There were two white whickeys close together at the bottom of the board, and I knew more about how to flick the ball back and forth between them than the guy who was carting the canned goods out the back door of the Hom-Ond knew about how to juggle an inventory. ALL THIS was in San Antonio, you understand, before Bill Hensley. The fathers never told me not to gamble, and I don’t re. member anything about it in the Ten Commandments, either. Sometimes my brother and I would go up to Tray’s. Tray was quite a fellow. He’d never move out from behind his hamburger counter. He ways been for public health or preventive medicine …. “‘We have always been for the strongest national defense possible commensurate with our ability to pay without jeopardizing our economy, but we have never favored the discriminatory … peacetime draft of one profession …. “We have always been for reasonable and necessary taxes, but we shall ever oppose the confiscation of people’s income when the money is used to buy votes, bribe nations, and maintain a gigantic bureaucracy …. “We have always been for the very best schools possible with well paid teachers to teach our children, not only the three R’s, but also the basic principles of a free enterprise system …. \\ATe detest those demagogues or traitors who constantly search for only the weaknesses in our way of life and who try to poison these young minds with … some foreign, ancient, or idealistic philosophy.” H 0, THEN! Forward with the Positive Doctorsagainst taxes for foreign aid, against the federal government, against health plans, against the critical mind, and especially against “foreign ancient, or idealistic philosophy”! Down with the unprocessed ideologies of the unAmerican past of man ! Forward with the noble M.D. March, `’If the suture’s sloppy. the patient’s drunk If he wants a co-op, he’s an alien punk.” R.D. of outh ter all, the pater did feed the onearm bandit clown at the corner a few nickels now and then. Nov we here at this weekly enterprise have been trying to tell the readers now and then what has been going on down at Galveston. We tried not to editorialize about it, so a man could take it any way he wanted, although now and then -we’d get carried away with “the law’s the law” kind of thing. \(One of our best headlines went something like “Police Chief Defends Brothels” ; just good clean fun. of into Galveston Bay out of it last week, and Will Wilson isn’t hurting, either. Our old friend Tony Anthony Fertitta to youis said not to be feeling so dapper, but, then, time and the tides wait on no man. Nov, however, the daily newspapers have carried a notice that the police up in Abilene have raided two pool halls, closed them down. Just like everything else, like overdoincr 6 a system, or letting a hot cue stick turn your head, this law enforcement can get out of hand. After all they have pool tables at the YMCA in San Antonio, right out in the lobby. where anybody can see them, even ladies. Let’s have a little local option, boys, or there won’t be any place left for a man, or a boy, to get lost. R.D. DREW PEARSON on The WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 June 28, 1957 country of ours …. They had many plans so …. they could keep on and on until finally this great system of capitalism and free enterprise would become strangled with their philosophy of socialism and welfarestatism …. “Many of these socialistically minded people who were not inclined to fight for the preservation of American freedom pushed their way into the influential positions left vacant by the patriotic Americans who were entering the war … They found friends in Congress who introduced the Murray-Wagner-Dingell Bill which would have socialized medicine …. the bill was defeated. Since that time the alien and all phases of organized medicine …. Occasionally one of our own less informed members becomes alarmed at their propaganda and comes rushing excitedly to us demanding that we devise a more positive program. ,… The physicians of America have always had and will continue to have a positive program. `… The doctors worked diligently for higher standards, both ethically and academically We have more and better trained physicians per 100,000 people than any other large country on earth. “We have been for an enlightened membership …. We have al ple whose ideals and philosophies are completely opposed to the American way of life. Not any of these people could trace their ancestors back to the early American settlers. Few, if any, had relatives in the American Revolution. I dare say that less than a score or so of them had grandfathers who fought on either side in the War Between the States.” \(We pause here for a moment’s silent prayer. Have we, any of us, been guilty of thinking the doctors are “negativistic”? Let us hope not. But if any of us have, let us acknowledge, within t h e darkest chambers of our secret selves, our alien bastardy. Less than twenty of us can have had grandfathers is the Civil War. Few, if any, helped our young and struggling colonies throw off the hated English yoke. None of us hark back to those noble few, who, braving the treacherous winds and Life Magazine photographers, embarked upon the vast bosom of the seas to find a new America ! It is a time for rededica”Once,” resumes Dr. Kerr, “most of the dangers were over, these people with a new philosophy came pouring into America as rapidly as our immigration laws would permit …. They were not satisfied with anything they found in this great WASHINGTON Senate Democratic leader Lyndon Johnson is doing his best to work out a civil rights compromise. He has offered to push through the civil rights bill if the proponents will accept the jury-trial amendment. Johnson is telling senators privately : “Jim Eastland knows we have to have a civil rights bill. But he has got to have a jury trial. We’ve got to give him a jury-trial amendment.”
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