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JAMA 100 Years Ago
June 11, 2008


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2008;299(22):2694. doi:10.1001/jama.299.22.2694

The Fifty-ninth Annual Session of the American Medical Association, held last week in Chicago, has more than fulfilled all the expectations that were formed for it. It has demonstrated the increasing realization of the community of the interest between the medical profession at large and the altruistic policy of professional betterment and uplifting for which the Association stands—no longer merely in academic theory, but in practical, statesman-like, effective effort. The session was certainly the most noteworthy of all that have been held. The registration of members reached the high mark of 6,446. The highest number previous to this was 4,722 at Boston in 1906. Last year at Atlantic City it was 3,713. The addresses, than which none better have been delivered, have already been commented on. The entertainments, which were eminently successful, were arranged to suit all tastes—receptions at the Fortnightly Club, the Chicago Woman's Club, at the Country Club by Mrs. Herbert Burrell, at the Art Institute, and an orchestral concert by the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, for the ladies; section and college banquets and reunions; trips to the packing houses and steel works for those interested in industrial enterprise; and finally the president's reception and ball on Wednesday night and a smoker on Thursday night, both at the Coliseum, which vast hall was on both occasions filled to overflowing. The section meetings were unusually well attended; the papers presented were of a high order, and the discussions thereon vigorous and well sustained. The scientific work of the Chicago Session leaves nothing to be desired. It is a matter for congratulation that the Section on Hygiene and Sanitary Science is arousing increasing attention. Hitherto the Cinderella among medical departments, a general awakening to the fact that preventive medicine will assuredly form the major part of the medicine of the future is now clearly in evidence. The business of the meeting was despatched by the House of Delegates with laudable promptitude and without the disturbance of harmony. The attendance of delegates was large throughout. More members registered for the first meeting than at any other time since the reorganization. A noteworthy feature is a growing tendency to refer resolutions and other matters direct to special committees, deferring discussion thereon until the presentation of the committees' reports, thus avoiding the threshing out of a subject twice over. One measure that deserves special mention was the endorsement by the House of Delegates of the report of the Board of Public Instruction, which recommended the institution of public lectures, signed articles by competent authorities on medical matters of public interest, in the lay press and magazines, etc. That this is a movement in accordance with the enlightened spirit of the age can not be doubted.