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The great S.A. shaft By Paul Stone San Antonio By now it’s evident that the firing of the U.T. San Antonio Medical School dean, Dr. Carter Panill was not related to the charges of misuse of funds and breaches of confidence brought against him by the U.T. regents. He was relieved of his position for his failure to get rid of Dr. Leon Cander, chairman of the Department of Physiology and Medicine. Cander was literally hated by the majority of San Antonio’s medical establishment, which was christened the Medical Mafia by one of Pannill’s supporters. Cander had become the symbol and focal point for all the Medical Mafia’s resentment of the school. Their dislike of the institution predated the school itself. In 1967 when the Legislature decided to locate a medical school in San Antonio the practicing physicians of the Alamo City feared the incoming faculty would cut into their revenues by attracting patients who had previously been theirs. It happened. The faculty physicians, who are, for the most part, well-trained specialists with numerous degrees and ample experience outside San Antonio, quickly acquired patients. The work load of the Medical Mafia was significantly cut down. Panill had turned the recruiting responsibilities at the school over to Cander, and since Cander was responsible for bringing in the super-star staff, the Medical Mafia focused their ire on Cander. ASIDE FROM the fact the staff doctors were cutting into the practice of the “Natives,” there was also a basic personality clash. Most of the native practitioners are family doctors and closely associated with the chamber of commerce way of life. The faculty, on the other hand, was concerned with a variety of intellectual matters, some pertaining to, and some not pertaining to the practice of medicine. San Antonio’s Medical Mafia considered this new breed of doctor suspicious and offensive. Since the new breed was also a financial threat, the Establishment doctors found them intolerable. Again Cander became the scapegoat. However, the most high-minded aspect of the San Antonio medical establishment’s hatred for Cander has to do with his being a Jew. Their anti-Semitism was not overt, but according to several persons who were party to the Establishment’s discussions about Cander, it was always present. The fact that Cander was also responsible for obtaining some federal funds designed to helping San Antonio’s poor further aided in casting him in the role of, as one doctor put it, “a typical HEW Jew, helpin’ to bring on socialism.” 18 The Texas Observer When the San Antonio doctors began to clamor they found the willing ear of Dr. Joe Nelson, a U.T. regent and a member of the TexPAC, the political action group of the A.M.A. in Texas. Nelson readily found support from Frank Erwin and Charles LeMaistre, veteran fire-ors. They set about trying to force Cander to resign on his own accord. In addition to the hostility he was already getting from the medical community in San ,Antonio, Cander began receiving complaints from the regents. Charles LeMaistre, chancellor of U.T., demanded two letters of resignation from Cander, one dated Jan. 1, and one dated July 1. When he refused to submit to this tactic the pressure shifted to his superior Dean Carter Panill. But Panill held fast, contending that there was no reason to fire someone who was doing a good job. When the pressure became more intense, Panill made it clear that if Cander was to go, he would have to be fired also. From that point it only became a matter of finding excuses to axe both men. Before it was determined what evil thing Panill had done so that he might be fired, the hatred of the San Antonio doctors for Panill and Cander began to manifest itself more overtly on the conversational level. Panill was Often referred to as “Little Lord Fauntleroy” since he dresses well and condescending remarks were made about his “style.” Apparently not much care was taken in choosing the reason for Panill’s firing. Frank Erwin came up with one, and LeMaistre came up with another. These reasons that Panill had misused $54,000 in state funds to supplement the salaries of two faculty members, that he had made three candidates for the state Legislature and that he had failed to keep in confidence remarks that he and LeMaistre, had made to one another, were all dug up from the lower reaches of their excuse bag and had as little basis in fact as the contention that the world moves on the back of the turtle. They were simply excuses found by men who were too embarassed to make their real reasons known. IT MIGHT SEEM that this whole issue is just another case of whose ox is gored, i.e. the specialist faculty of the medical school or the general practitioners of San Antonio. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that, since this is, in effect, another instance of the upper income population of San Antonio protecting its position of power and lucrative enterpise. Now, the chicanos and blacks have been joined by the professors and their administrators as outsiders who must be kept in their place, and a new type of medical practice has suffered a serious setback in San Antonio. The man who has been appointed acting dean is causing a certain amount of excitement himself. Dr. Dan Crawford, who has been transferred from Galveston to take Panill’s place, has beome the current topic of conversation. Crawford is a pediatrician, and pediatricians are never, but never, made deans of medical schools. However, the San Antonio medical establishment doesn’t seem to mind. They’re going around saying, “We’ve got one of our own in there now that Panill and Cander are gone.” TITLES .. 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