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JAMA 100 Years Ago
July 19, 2006

The American Medical Directory.

Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(3):345. doi:10.1001/jama.296.3.345-a


NEW YORK, July 7, 1906.

To the Editor:—If any further argument were needed in favor of the publication of a register of physicians of the United States by the authority and under the supervision of the American Medical Association, such argument would be found in a contemplation of “Polk's Medical Register and Directory,” a copy of the ninth revision of which was received a few days ago. I do not refer to its numerous errors of omission and commission; they may perhaps be unavoidable in a directory of national scope. I do not even refer to its numerous absurdities, such as, for instance, the inclusion of a journal for the laity and of a distinctly antimedical character, a journal that considers physicians and surgeons something worse than thieves and murderers, in the list of medical journals; or the putting of quack societies, trying to disrupt the medical profession of America, in the list of “medical associations.” But I do refer to the numerous objectionable advertisements with which the book is filled and which must prove an eyesore to every ethical physician, who at present—for the lack of any other—is obliged to consult that directory. It is certainly unpleasant to have to be confronted on the top of every few pages with either antikamnia or the Keeley cure. It was hoped that the agitation which has been going on for the past two or three years, and of which the publishers of that directory can not fail to be cognizant, would induce them to purify this volume of at least the most objectionable advertisements; but apparently lay publishers can not be expected to get into sympathy with the attitude of the ethical part of the medical profession.

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