During the years of World War II the young American College of Neuropsychiatrists had survival problems: travel was difficult; everyone was preoccupied with the War and efforts to win it; college enrollment was down, hence there were fewer new graduates to be considered for graduate training; our osteopathic colleges went on an “accelerated schedule” (four years of osteopathic medical education compressed into three) which was as exhausting for those who were teaching as for those who were students, and left little time for outside organizational activities; in 1946 there was no A.O.A. National Annual meeting, consequently no Annual Meeting (except by telephone) of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists; the diminished number of graduates, after a nine-month internship tended to get into family practices where they were fairly sure of deferment because of being “an essential occupation.” Fortunately my own local Draft Board saw fit to defer me as being “essential,” although this also resulted in being thrust into heavy responsibilities immediately upon being certified, in 1946.
Actually, I was given a teaching load before I was examined for certification. In 1945 my chief, Dr. Fred M. Still called me into his office one day and said, “Floyd, I want you to teach Psychiatry at Kirksville next semester”. He was then Professor of Psychiatry at that Osteopathic College, but said candidly that he wanted to unload some of his responsibilities. Well, he was my chief—how could I say “No”? So I was thrust into an academic career before I know how great the burden was and how small would be the reward. But I truly welcomed the opportunity to be a voice in a teaching faculty and I used that opportunity—especially when, the next term my chief said, “They want you to teach Neurology, too”.
So by the beginning of the 1946-1947 year class term at Kirksville, I had persuaded the President and the faculty to allow me to revise and enlarge the teaching of Neurology and Psychiatry at that institution. According to a News item in the October 1946 issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists, “the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry has been greatly reorganized. We are maintaining two courses of 36 hours each in clinical psychiatry and clinical neurology. We have added 36 hours of neuropsychiatric presentation clinics at which we review clinical cases having a neurological and/or psychiatric aspect and present the patient wherever feasible. Two new courses are planned for the pre-clinical years. The first is an 18-hour course of lectures and recitations dealing with the Principles of Neuropsychiatry. –The second course will be concerned with psychosomatic medicine. —We also plan to include during the clinical service of our senior students three weeks of neuropsychiatric externship (clinical clerkship) at Still-Hildreth Osteopathic Sanatorium. The College Hospital is adding to its Intern Training Program six weeks’ neuropsychiatric service at S.H.O.S.”