University of the Pacific School of Dentistry - Chips Yearbook (San Francisco, CA)

 - Class of 1909

Page 147 of 178

 

University of the Pacific School of Dentistry - Chips Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 147 of 178
Page 147 of 178



University of the Pacific School of Dentistry - Chips Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 146
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University of the Pacific School of Dentistry - Chips Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 148
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Page 147 text:

gets quite a bit of surgery, from two to half a dozen obstetrical cases a month, some gynaecology, Ophthalmology, and laryngology. NVith so many per- sons depending on one medical man, it is easy to see that his labors are as varied as those of the physician in private practice. A day's work taken from the surgeons log on a recent transatlantic trip will give a fair idea of what the doctor at sea has to do. At three o'clock in the morning the doctor was called out of bed to see a steerage passenger in labor. The stewardess, who at one time had been a nurse in an English hospital, had allowed matters to pro- gress considerably before sending for the surgeon. 'As a result the woman was speedily delivered of a healthy nine-pound boy. The doctor had just esconced himself on a settee for a nap until the first bugle call, sailor who had paring to swab time before the At nine o'clock when he was summoned to attend a scalded his leg and foot while pre- one of the decks. It was breakfast sailor's needs had been attended to. the round of visits commenced. In the forward port hospital was a Steerage passenger ill with pneumonia, showing a temperature of 1040 Fahrenheit, a steward with acute nephritis, a fireman with epididymitis, and a young boy with a septic hand, which he brought aboard. In the after hos- pitals, devoted to women, were va-rious cases. A woman suffering with acute mania demanded con- siderable attention. A young woman with acute oophoritis, an old lady with facial neuralgia, a child with laryngitis, and another with a hard bronchial cold took up some of the surgeon's time. At 10:30 o'clock came the inspection. For an hour the captain, purser, surgeon and chief steward thoroughly in- spected the ship from stem to stern. Every part of the vessel from the first cabin to the third class, and from the saloon to the fireman's forecastle, was gone over, and matters of ventilation, cleanliness and order were taken up, and nothing which did not meet l70

Page 146 text:

Hamilton, one, Panama Railroad Line to Colon, four, Red D Line to Puerto Rico and Venezuela, four, the New York and Puerto Rico Line to San Juan, fourg the Sloman Line to Brazil, four, and the Lamport and Holt Line to Brazil, two. There seems to be among the medical profession a very general misconception as to the professional at- taimnents of the surgeon on steamships. The idea is broadcast that a ship's doctor is usually a man who failed to make good in practice ashore, or whose habits are such as to disqualify him for independent medical work. It is unfortunate that such a belief is prevalent, because, as a matter of fact. the average steamship surgeon is as well qualified as the average physician ashore, and indeed many of them are men of the highest scientific qualifications. In the first place, the number of men desiring to go to sea as surgeons is so great that steamship companies are enabled to take their pick. The doctor aboard is not the social butterfly he is generally believed. While here and there may be found a man who devotes much time to social amenities, the majority only see the passengers at the table over which they preside, and occasionally on the promenade deck. He leads practically the same kind of life as his con- frere ashore. The larger vessels seldom carry fewer than -1,500 people on each trip, and in the busier season 72,500 would be nearer an average number. Each one of these persons can call on the surgeon at any time, day or night. His aihnents are the same at sea as on shore, augmented by the troubles peculiar to the sea. If anything, he is more particular at sea than when ashore, and as a result the doctor listens to more tales of woe in one trip than he would in six months ashore. ' The surgeon's duties are confined to certain lines not unlike those of the general practitioner. The bulk of his work is with the medical sick, but he I69



Page 148 text:

the approbation of the officers escaped their attention. After inspection the surgeon made his cabin calls, occasioned chiefly on account of seasickness. Then followed the surgery hour, where twenty-two of the third cabin passengers and members of the crew asked for medical advice. The cases were mostly of a minor nature-coughs, colds, sprains, cuts, and the like, made up the list. Many asked for an "opening medicinef' with the result 'that black draught was liberally given by the hospital steward. The passing of sounds added to the variety of life on one steerage passenger, while another enjoyed the sensation fol- lowing urethral irrigation. During the afternoon, the surgeon had an opportunity to get a two-hour nap. Then came the evening hospital calls, and at 8:30 o'clock the evening surgery hour. At this time it was necessary to reduce a hernia and fit a truss. A bad case of varicose ulcer was treated and a couple of stitches were taken in the scalp of a pugnatious Irishman, who had decried England's greatness in the hearing of a loyal Britisher. A fireman overcome by the heat in the stoke hole, and another with sup- pression of urine ended the labors of the surgeon for the night. Such was a day's routine, and happy was the medical man when, on reaching port, he was able to land every person on the ship. Two went to the hospital.. but both were 'fout of the woods" before the vessel again turned its prow homeward. From this brief resume it will be seen that the surgeon of the big transatlantic liner is no drone. His working hours are long, and much of his leisure time is taken up in the study and perusal of medical litera- ture, of which he usually has a generous supply. The surgeon's library is ample, and up to date, and his medical and surgical equipment are the best. The remuneration of the ship's surgeon depends entirely upon the size of a vessel, its destination, number of passengers, the length of the trip, and the condition of the weather. Most of the lines employ- l7I

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