Medical Society. Reporters Will Not Be Admitted to the Meetings. Lively Discussion over the Question of Professional Ethics — Favor a Decent Hospital
The Knox County Medical society is nothing if not ultra on professional etiquette. So think several members of that fraternity and they so expressed themselves at the regular meeting of the society held last night. But there were others who held contrary views and the chair ruled that those holding the latter view were in the majority when a question involving this issue was put to a vice voce vote.
At the opening of the meeting, a motion was offered providing that representatives of the press be invited to attend meetings of the society with a view to letting the public know there is such an organization and by synopses of papers on important subjects read at these meetings to disseminate valuable information among the public; to disabuse the public of an erroneous impression that better professional service may be obtained elsewhere. In support of the motion it was urged that the press has the privilege of attending the meetings of the national society, the state society ad the East Tennessee Medical society. The New York and Philadelphia societies have attained great reputation through newspaper publicity and publicity obtaining through publications in medical journals. Atlanta secures through newspaper publicity and advertising patients who could get as good treatment here. Newspaper reports of the meetings of the Knox Sounty [sic] society would be the means of letting the world know that such an organization existed and was a body of skilled men. These, and other arguments were advanced in favor of the motion, and were met by arguments from the opposition, the leaders of which insisted that such publicity or “advertising,” as they were pleased to call it, could do the society little, if any, good.
When the question was put, there was a close vive voce note [sic], the chair deciding the motion lost.
Incidentally in this discussion of this matter, references were made to the desirability, necessity even, of establishing in Knoxville a “decent” hospital. Later, this matter received special consideration, all present favoring a movement to secure said decent hospital. The power of the press in pushing a scheme, to build such a hospital, to a consummation, was apparent to the society and there was scarce an opposing voice to the resolution regarding this special case. The object of the committee is to secure funds with which to build a nice hospital. For the physicians are Doctors C. Deaderick, L. Jones Price, Howell, Masters and Oppenheimer. A resolution providing for the appointment of the editor of each of the three daily newspapers in Knoxville as a member of the committee to, in conjunction with the physicians named devise, ways and means for the securement of a decent hospital in Knoxville, was offered and carried.
Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, November 22, 1895, page 8