Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

Philadelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) online

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tion as well as marine interests, became the founder and the first president of
the Camden & Atlantic Railroad. The father, George T. Da Costa, was widely
known as a litterateur and bibliophile.

Educated in Philadelphia, Dr. Da Costa was a pupil in the Friends Central
school and also in the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduatea
as an analytical chemist in 1882. In the meantime his interest in the practice of
medicine was aroused and, determining to qualify for the profession, he matricu-
lated in the Jefferson Medical College, his preceptor being his uncle. Dr. John
C. Da Costa. He was graduated in medicine in 1885 and soon afterward com-
petitive examination brought him appointment to the position of resident physi-
cian at the Philadelphia Hospital. His broad experience there during thirteen
months' service well qualified him for more responsible duties. He was then
appointed assistant physician to the insane department of the hospital and while
thus engaged prepared several papers on insanity which were regarded as val-
uable contributions to the literature of the profession. In 1887 he became as-
sistant to Dr. Chapin in the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane and in the
intervening years has largely specialized in the treatment of mental and nervous
disorders. Late in the year 1887 he entered upon the private practice of medi-
cine, but his ability has kept him in continuous connection with hospital and
college work. He was made assistant demonstrator of anatomy at Jeflferson
Medical College and was one of the clinical assistants of Dr. Gross, Jr. His
progress has been continuous and consecutive. His constantly expanding pow-
ers have gained him wide recognition and brought him continually increasing
responsibilities. After acting as assistant demonstrator of surgery he was made
demonstrator of surgery, later chief of the surgical clinic and assistant surgeon
to the hospital of Jefferson Medical College. In the year 1896 he was appointed
clinical professor of surgery and in 1900 was made professor of the principles
of surgery. As professor of surgery he occupied the Samuel D. Gross chair
of surgery in 1910. He was likewise surgeon to the pension fund of the Phila-
delphia fire department.


Dr. Da Costa's writings have attracted wide attention not only in America
but also in foreign countries. He was associated with Dr. Frederick Packard
in the preparation of articles for Keating's Medical Directory. He is the author
of articles on methods of dissection, which appeared in Naucredes Anatomy;
articles on epilepsy and tetanus in Hare's American System of Therapeutics and
Diseases of Testicle, a manual on modern surgery. His Manual on Modem
Surgery has gone through the sixth edition and he is editor of the American
edition of Gray's Edition of Anatomy. Again and again he has been heard in
public professional gatherings. In i8g8 he was chosen to deliver an address on
surgery before the Pennsylvania State Medical Society. He also prepared an
address on the fiftieth anniversary of the Philadelphia County Medical Society
in 1899. In 1895 he delivered an address on the blood alterations of ether
anesthesia and has prepared various articles on compound fracture of the
skull, amputation of the hip joint, sarcoma of tonsil and surgery of insanity,
with other addresses on other medical and surgical subjects. He has also been
heard on public occasions on reviews of the lives, character and history of notable
physicians and surgeons and of the leading institutions of the profession. His
professional membership is with the Philadelphia County Medical Society, the
Pathological Society of Philadelphia, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia,
the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, the American Medical Association, the
American Surgical Association and the Society of Surgery of Bucharest, Rou-
mania. Of the last named he is an honorary fellow. It would be tautological
in this connection to enter upon a series of statements showing Dr. Da Costa
to be a leading member of the profession, for this has been shadowed forth be-
tween the lines of this review.


Dr. Henry Beates, Jr., was born in Philadelphia, December 20, 1857, a son
of Henry and Emily A. (Baker) Beates. He supplemented his preliminary
studies by a course in Eastburn Academy, where he laid the foundation of a
broad classical education. He afterward became a student in the Classical In-
stitute of this city and in West Philadelphia Academy, in which he pursued a
special course to the time of his graduation in 1876. He completed the course
with valedictorian honors and then entered actively upon the preparation for
the practice of medicine as a student in the medical department of the University
of Pennsylvania after placing himself under the preceptorship of Dr. Charles
T. Hunter. He was soon accorded the front rank in his class in scholarship
and was also an important factor in establishing rules and conditions favorable
to the university student. His work in school was most meritorious and won
him the degree of M. D. upon his graduation in 1879.

His practical training was first received through an appointment as clinical
assistant to Professors D. Hayes Agnew, William Pepper, John Ashhurst and
William Goodell, a group of physicians and surgeons of the highest rank in the
profession. His association with these eminent men instilled into the young






physician an enthusiasm and love for his work that have been controlling forces
in his constantly broadening career of usefulness and success. As their assistant
he learned much of value in the methods and principles of practice and the
standing which he won secured for him on the ist of January, 1894, an a])ix>int-
ment froin Governor Pattison as a member of the state board of medical exam-
iners, to which position he was reappointed by Governor Hastings in 1897. In
fact, he has been reappointed by every governor to the present time against the
desire of many physicians who are financially interested in "shady" schools, and
he has, therefore, been attacked in many papers because of his stand, which
should have received the support of every physician and does enlist the coopera-
tion of those who desire that the profession shall reach the highest possible
standard. His position is regarded by many as radical, but by all it is acknowl-
edged as right save where personal commercial interests conflict with high ideals.
That for which he stands as medical examiner is a rational curriculum which
will provide for the medical student a practical training with the didactic and
also that his examination shall be passed upon by competent men in each line.
The public, not interested commercially and, therefore, capable of an impartial
view, endorses him, and his appointment has come to him from each succeeding
governor against the expressed wishes of many physicians and proprietary
schools and colleges interested in passing as many medical students as possible,
regardless of their real ability and of the fearful consequences upon afflicted
humanity. Dr. Beates has stood inflexibly for what he knows is to be for the
best interest of the profession and, therefore, for fellowmen. He has delivered
many addresses on the subject and at the National Confederation of State Medi-
cal Examining and Licensing Boards, in its twentieth annual convention at St.
Louis. Missouri, on the 6th of June, 1910, he said: "It is to be regretted that
honest effort, such as that shown in the report of Dr. Flexner, perverted and
erroneous though it be in some respects, should militate against the excellent
purposes which Dr. Flexner undoubtedly had in view as a general proposition ;
in order that that general proposition may be well understood a preliminary
statement should be made to the effect that there are two types of medical col-
lege, that which stands for the highest, and that which stands for the lowest
standard of medical education. The larger percentage of the medical colleges
of the United States, unfortunately, belong to the latter class, and I believe it
was toward that group of schools that Dr. Flexner very properly directed his

"Dr. Flexner suggests that state medical examining boards should be com-
posed of teachers. The best answer to that sophism, I think, is made by looking
upon the history of the National Confederation of State Medical Examining and
Licensing Boards. What was it that brought this confederation into existence?
The recreant proprietary medical college that two decades ago was flooding the
United States with ignorant, illiterate and dangerous so-called doctors. Should
teachers compose examining boards? The fearful consequences of this product
were so far reaching that various communities found it necessary to seek pro-
tection against this abuse by the enactment of statutory laws. Those laws were,
in the beginning, compromise measures, for reasons that are obvious to every-
body. When an opportunity was made to establish a law which would compel


the medical college to do that which it professed to do, and for which its charter
right was granted, it was that type of low standard medical school, with which
we have always been at war, that through perverted financial, social and political
influences, was able to minimize the requirements of higher quahfication and
neutralize our efforts for betterment.

"If the medical teacher should be eligible as a member of the examining
board, it would simply transfer the evil and put the proprietary medical school
in power. Not all proprietary medical schools are bad, though the majority of
them are, but some of them stand as high as any. But if the staff in that pro-
prietary medical school were a component part of the examining board, you
would simply transfer the evil from the limited powers of the college to the
legalized powers of the state examining board and no greater disaster could be
visited upon the public.

"The mistake that has been made in the specification, as it were, by Dr.
Flexner of certain relative degrees of excellence in this and that state, is based
upon something which I will explain by a brief narration of state history. By
the way, Pennsylvania today requires a full high school standard for the medical
student. Dr. Flexner's report was evidently formulated at the time, a year or
more ago, when that standard was not required by law. Pennsylvania today, I
am glad to say, has progressed with other states and we have that preliminary
standard required by law. When the board of examiners of Pennsylvania
recommended a law, which is diiferent from that of other states, and used its
efforts so to amend the present act of assembly, that we could force a high
standard of preliminary education and compel a full four years' curriculum for
the doctorate, I repeat, when eflforts were made so to amend the present law
that that requirement could be administered without fear or favor, it was the
hypocrite occupying the position of professor in a proprietary school who, taking
advantage of the confidence of the public in his high place (which was apparent
but not real) concentrated the influence of boards of trustees who themselves
were deceived as to the purpose and motives of the faculty, upon the legislative
halls of the state of Pennsylvania, with misleading arguments which side-tracked
the effort and kept the act of assembly of Pennsylvania on the low level on
which for years it stood and rendered it very easy to graduate large classes of
well paying but illiterate and ignorant students.

"And Dr. Flexner has been deceived by the same type of hypocrite who has
presented to him certain facts and argued them with plausibility; but gentlemen,
it was an instance of moral insanity on the part of those gentlemen who have
induced Dr. Flexner to believe that the greater-than-thou argument is based upon
fact. Here Dr. Flexner has inadvertently done an injustice to the high standard
colleges and states and has weakened his report in the eyes of those of us who
know that he is innocently guilty of having made statements which close analysis
will show not to be as he has presented them.

"On the whole, however, the report of Dr. Flexner will have a beneficial
effect in bringing about the uplift of medical education and in securing the
graduation of men who are qualified to practice medicine. It will indirectly
force medical schools to incorporate in their curriculum, which is too largely
devoted only to the teaching of medical science, that essential factor, properly


related to the entire curriculum, training in the art of applying the fundamental
principles of the medical sciences in actual practice. Then men will come out
with both a reasonable knowledge of the fundamental principles of the science
of medicine and a reasonably cultivated degree of art or skill in applying those
principles to present conditions."

Another address which awakened wide comment in the profession and which
was read before the Pennsylvania State Dental Society, July 9, 1902, was en-
titled, "Should the So-called Fundamental Branches in the Study of Dentistry
and Medicine be Taught by the Same Faculty?" "These branches are distinct-
ively sciences and comprise anatomy, physiology, chemistry and pathology," said
Dr. Beates. "Mastery of certain of their phases is as essential for the highest
possible achievements of the dentist as for the physician. That these funda-
mentals are taught by the same faculty, is a fact known to all of us; that the
medical faculty seems to possess this questionable privilege might be advan-
tageously emphasized, as well as the opposite fact that a faculty distinctively
dental does not! These apparently insignificant facts are full of suggestion and
indicate commercial reasons, rather than those intrinsically scholarly and merit-
orious in character. Can it be denied that the demands of modern development
for a degree of proficiency and skill on the part of the dentist and physician, far
transcending that of the very recent past, find the systems of professional educa-
tion utterly inadequate to meet the emergency? for truly emergency it is. It
must certainly be acknowledged that dental and medical education has not ful-
filled its requirements. Proof of this assertion is afforded by the existence of
laws governing their practice. The law became necessary because the degrees
of D. D. S. and M. D. did not represent that qualification, in either general or
professional competency, which vouchsafed to the laity immunity from the fear-
ful consequences of practitioners being utterly unable and unfit to assume those
weighty responsibilities, and it was only after years of flagrant incompetency
that the suffering public arose to the occasion and demanded protection from
the dangers following the reign of ignorant and unfit doctors, through legislative
control — not, unfortunately, the control of imperfect education, but of practice.
The corrective was applied to results and not causes, where it should have been.
It is thus seen how, until the era of legislation for practice, professional edu-
cation was not only faulty and defective, but flagrantly inadequate. The laws
as they exist today, please observe, are only corrective and that indirectly, in
part, and while their impartial administration has therefore greatly benefited the
general conditions, it is because of commercialism that they are not complete.
In no one aspect has the power of obstructive commercialism been more in evi-
dence than by those colleges that exerted herculean effort to defeat the adoption
of such laws as would require of students first, an adequate preliminary educa-
tion, and secondly, that professional training without which the graduation of
finished and competent practitioners is an impossibility. That the enforcement
of such laws would necessarily reduce the army of students which crowd the
halls of the vast number of not needed and therefore superfluous colleges, so-
called, of dentistry and medicine is apparent to everybody. And what a re-
duction from the income of the diploma mill this would determine, needs no
effort at demonstration. It requires but little exercise of rational thought to


thoroughly comprehend the ease with which institutions assumed the right to
substitute the work done in the fundamentals in one career that were common
only in name, with those of any other, and how very readily the reprehensible
practice became established of granting advanced standing to any in the above,
if a certificate, degree or diploma was desired by the student for any two or
more in any one, and recognizing the practicability of obtaining the doctorate
by the then presenting short cut process. Following this practice certain medical
colleges admitted to advanced standing students in veterinary medicine, dentistiy,
pharmacy, and even biology from high schools, etc. Sedulously hiding the truth
that for each of the callings enumerated there naturally exist, as a characteristic
of the fundamentals, phases so special in nature as to constitute an almost dif-
ferent science, the commercial professor exerted every influence possible to
delude the laity and profession into believing that the study of the fundamentals,
whether pursued in high schools or academies, courses in biology and what
not, or in general or technical colleges, constituted one and the same thing as
the actual study of medicine, and thus it was that students in these pursuits, and
especially in pharmacy, dentistry and medicine, were found in large numbers
to be the victims of a commercial scheme which granted diplomas, it is true, but
launched them forth not adequately qualified not only to the injury of fellow-
men but to failure in life, and the weakening of professional efficiency. Den-
tistry has developed into a profession so dignified, learned and important to the
welfare and economic interests of man that no longer can its principles and
special phases of the fundamentals common to it and medicine in name only
be taught by any faculty having to do with education in some different sphere.
Those entering its gates will find every moment of their lives, as well as every
component element of their ability, sorely taxed in the acquisition of the knowl-
edge of its principles, and, most certainly, in the cultivation of its now demanded
high type of art. Today no competent physician could presume to practice den-
tistry', and the contrary is equally true. The day has dawned, and its sun will
never set, when the requirements of the dentist and the physician demand in an
especial sense a mastery of the applied phases of the fundamentals as they are
peculiar to each ! The necessity is which demands for the great profession of
dentistry a faculty worthy and commensurate in scholarly and scientific attain-
ment with its dignity and importance. The newly inaugurated era must have
a rational curriculum for each profession. It cannot be administered by the
same faculty common to each, but only by one faculty, the same for each. May
the day be not far distant when commercialism will have been forever eliminated
and that that realization of the truth, necessary for the proper administration
of the educational system essential for both, will find sturdy champions for the
cause, actuated by the strong conviction that proper progress in the evolution
of the respective professions of dentistry and medicine is largely founded upon
proper methods underlying their education ! Then, and only then, will the two
professions achieve their high duty and vouchsafe to fellowman their highest
possible good."

In these addresses is plainly seen the advanced stand which Dr. Beates has
taken. He is one of those to whom the ideal of the profession is that for which
the individual practitioner must ever strive, and his position on the state ex-


amining board is giving to Pennsylvania a better service than ever before in
the history of medical and dental education and practice.

Dr. Beates is a member of the Philadelphia Medical Club, in which organ-
ization he has always taken an active and helpful interest. He is likewise afifil-
iated with the Philadelphia County Medical Society, the State Medical Society.
American Medical Association, the Northern Medical Society, the Pathological
Society, and is a fellow of the College of Physicians. Through these relations
he keeps in touch with the advanced thought of the profession as scientific re-
search, investigation and experimentation heighten knowledge and promote the
efficiency of the representatives of the medical fraternity.

On the 3d of September, 1896, Dr. Beates was married to Miss Agnes Tre-
vette Barrington. They are prominent in the social life of the city. Dr. Beates
belonging to a number of the leading social clubs, while in Masonry he has at-
tained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. He is also identified with
the Union League and the Academy of Sciences, but all these interests are
subservient to that which he regards as his life work. The problem of higher
medical education interests him in a large degree, and it is his earnest desire to
promote the work that is being accomplished along that line. Now in the prime
of life, he occupies a high place in the professional ranks of Philadelphia, nor is
his reputation confined by the boundaries of this city. He is widely known in
professional circles and ranks with the ablest representatives of the medical pro-
fession in this city. In recognition of his services to the profession and human-
ity, Washington and Jefferson College at the commencement exercises in [une.
1909, conferred the honorary degree of Master of Science.


Dr. William Evans has been continuously and successfully identified with
the medical profession of Philadelphia for the past quarter of a century and is
widely recognized as an able representative thereof. His birth occurred near
Glen Mills, Delaware county, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of August, 1861, his
parents being Isaac Conard and Ann (Evans) Evans. His paternal ancestors,
who were originally residents of Wales, came to the United States from the north
of Ireland and took up their abode in Lampeter, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.

William Evans pursued his more specifically literary education in Westtown
Boarding School and subsequently entered the medical department of the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania, from which institution he was graduated on the ist of
May, 1885, winning the degree of M. D. During the following four years he
acted as assistant physician of the Friends Asylum for the Insane at Frankford,
Philadelphia, and then embarked in general practice at West Philadelphia, which
place has since remained the scene of his professional labors. He is a fellow of
the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and belongs to the Philadelphia County
Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State Medical Association and the American
Medical Association, keeping in touch with the advance made by the medical
fraternity through the interchange of knowledge and experience in the meet-


ings of those societies. He has continuously been a student of his profession,
carrying his investigations far and wide into the realms of scientific knowledge,
and anything which tends to bring to man the key to that complex mystery which
we call life is of deep interest to him.

On the 8th of October, 1901, at Selma, Ohio, Dr. Evans was united in mar-
riage to Miss H. Matilda Wildman, a daughter of John and Mary T. Wildman,
who were prominent Friends of western Ohio. Where national questions and
issues are involved. Dr. Evans supports the republican party, but at local elec-
tions he casts an independent ballot. His life is in conformity with his profes-
sions as a member of the Society of Friends. He is a man of marked indi-
viduality, of strong character and stalwart purpose, who in citizenship, in pro-
fessional circles and in private life commands the respect of all with whom he
has been brought in contact.


William Sellers, to whom was accorded the highest honors both in America
and in Europe because of his preeminent abilities as an engineer, inventor and
manufacturer, and whose life was an honor to the city which ever honored him,

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 19 of 62)