tion will show how extensive an influence this may have upon the health
and lives of the sex.
In labour, and in the puerperal state, unused to the presence
of any but a female practitioner, entertaining a secret and undefined
dread of a physician on such an occasion, the patient, even under circumstances
of difficulties and danger, will reluctantly and slowly consent to admit
that assistance which is necessary to her preservation. The same feelings
will necessarily extend to other cases in which there would be no question
that physicians should be consulted. It will produce a disposition to
delay calling for their assistance; it will induce them to rely at first
on those who have already attended them, with whom they feel familiar,
and they will find too late that the sufferings, which are the consequence
of ignorance and credulity, are far worse than those inflicted by the
infirmities of nature.
I know of nothing which contributes so much to the security
of the patient and the satisfaction and happiness of the physician, as
the existence of a mutual confidence, let me say affection, between them.
Medicine is an arduous and oftentimes painful profession, and one of its
highest rewards is in the consciousness of the good will and the kind
feelings of our patients. And on the other hand, sickness, which is a
heavy infliction, derives perhaps its greatest temporal alleviation from
the kind and soothing attentions of a physician. It is not the duty of
a medical practitioner merely to pass in cold and distant pomp into the
bed chamber of the sick, to be satisfied with the dry formality of a prescription,