Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Address of the President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy at Dallas, Texas, August 24, 1936

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Address of the President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy at Dallas, Texas, August 24, 1936

Article excerpt

The detailed activities of the Association during the year, not already of common knowledge, will be revealed in the various committee reports, and I will not burden you at this time with a review of these activities.

I am, however, taking advantage of this opportunity to discuss with you some of the problems confronting American pharmacy, for the existence of which and for the solution of which the schools of pharmacy must assume a large share of responsibility.

In a material age such as that through which we are now passing, professional education, along with all education, has felt the urge to adjust itself to materialistic demands, entirely forgetful of the high principles by which it alone should have been guided. The result is that we find ourselves today in the midst of doubt and uncertainty--doubt as to the wisdom of our past activities or lack of them, and uncertainty as to how to plan for the future. That there has been a breakdown in the former high ideals and ethical standards of the professions and the high regard in which they were held, I think no one can deny.

In law, medicine, teaching, preaching, pharmacy, or whatever the profession, conditions have been allowed to develop whereby the erstwhile ideals and standards have been obscured at the hands of those, who, for expediency or for ulterior motives, have appropriated the professions to their personal advantage. They have ignored or forgotten the principle that the franchise, under which a profession operates and is thereby distinguished from secular activities, is granted only under the assumption or theory that the profession will operate or function in the interest of society, and not in the interest of an individual or group of individuals.

This break-down in professional standards is directly chargeable to the professional schools through whose doors each year come an increasing number of young men and women, who, because of the failure of the school to inculcate proper conceptions of ideals, adjust themselves to existing conditions and practices as they find them in the field, and thus continue the vicious cycle.

There appears to be some evidence that professional schools here and there, rather than struggle to set up and maintain their own conceptions of ideals and standards, are dictated to or subsidized by interests which would use them for their selfish objectives. They seem to have passively submitted rather than combat those practices which destroy professional ideals and standards.

True professional practice in America is threatened unless and until our professional schools rechart their course and recognize and assume the responsibility of guiding professional practices into channels of high ethical and spiritual character.

It is granted, of course, that each professional school, if it is to function effectively, must be provided with proper faculty personnel and physical equipment, but it must be recognized at the same time that technical training constitutes but one phase of professional training. One cannot conceive of a more potentially dangerous influence in society than highly trained professional individuals who lack the fundamental elements of character, and who do not have a proper conception of their responsibilities in the utilization of their professional training.

Thinking along this line, and recognizing that a true diagnosis of the problems and practices in pharmacy, if not made at our hands, will be made by other agencies not of our choosing; and that such a diagnosis will reveal some things the knowledge of which may be painful and which if not removed or modified will result in a delayed and doubtful prognosis, I have set up the following standard of measurement for professional schools by which I will check my own school and ask you to check yours. Frankness and honesty force me to recognize that my failures have been many, but, at the same time, I recognize that my opportunities and responsibilities are equally many. …

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