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October 17, 1903

The Nickname "Allopath."

JAMA. 1903;XLI(16):974-975. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490350030011

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Abstract

Baltimore, Oct. 5, 1903.

To the Editor:  —Your editorial, with quotation from the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, which shows that among "4,188 persons employed in the profession of medicine" in Massachusetts, "the number of physicians who are willing to answer to the nickname of allopath was 1,432," is startling, even though qualified by the suggestion that in some cases "an ignorant census-taker" may have been responsible for a wrongful classification. This narrow and restrictive misnomer, introduced in contemptuous terms by Hahnemann in his "Organon" in 1810, however repugnant to physicians in good and regular standing, we may charitably assume was not used in an offensive sense by the census-taker of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only to the illiterate, but, to a large extent, to the educated classes, the word conveys no significance except in the negative way of contradistinction from homeopathy. But inconsiderate assent to such

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