American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists

The American College of Neuropsychiatrists

(An Osteopathic Institution)

By Floyd E. Dunn, D.O., F.A.C.N., F.A.A.M.D.

It was about this same period that our college had its second run-in with A.O.A. officialdom. At that time, the Executive Secretary of the Association was Russell McCaughan, D.O. who in many ways was as demagogic and dictatorial in the A.O.A. as Morris Fishbein M.D. was in the A.M.A. The Bureau of Hospitals has been delegated the responsibility of inspecting (recommending approval or rejection) all hospital-based residency training programs in A.O.A. hospitals. Of course, this included psychiatric residencies, so we at Still-Hildreth Hospital were treated to the spectacle of having the Hospital inspection team come to S.H.O.H., having the chief of the inspection team put his feet on Fred Still’s desk (Dr. Fred was then president of the S.H.O.H Corporation) and saying, “Well Fred, you know more about this neurology and psychiatry business (the inspector was a surgeon) than I do.” And that constituted his inspection. The Hospital was approved, actually, then, without an adequate on-site inspection. Your author wrote a letter of protest (and request) to R.C. McCaughan protesting the inappropriateness of having a surgeon inspect a residency training program in neurology and psychiatry, and requesting that at least there be a certified neuropsychiatrist added to the team when a residency in either of the specialties of neurology or psychiatry were being inspected. McCaughan refused, wrote in effect that the A.O.A. Board had given the responsibility of residency inspection to the Bureau of Hospitals and that’s how it was going to be and we could like it or lump it. As a result, we moved out of the Residency Training programs, and proceeded to set up “Full-Time Fellowship Training Programs” which were under our own jurisdiction, and through our Evaluation Committee to the Advisory Board for Osteopathic Specialists and the Committee on Accreditation of Post-Graduate Training, and hence to approval by the A.O.A. Board of Trustees. This by-passed the Bureau of Hospitals completely and got us out from under suppressive domination by the surgeons. We learned that some of the other colleges were doing the same thing—especially those who (as for example, the Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists) wanted to do a large portion of their training of candidates in an office, rather than a hospital.

The first decade of the life of our College also saw our struggles to achieve recognition by suppliers of clinical psychological materials. It was this writers task, for one important instance, to establish with the PSYCHOLOGICAL CORPORATION of the New York City our stature and credibility as psychiatrists—and additionally to establish to their satisfaction the amount of training which schools of osteopathic medicine required of their students before admitting them to the study of psychiatry. My order for the Minnesota Multiphasic had been held up “because your name does not appear in our file of qualified purchasers and since we cannot tell from your letter the nature of your work”. When I replied that I was a Staff Psychiatrist at Still- Hildreth and Chairman of the Department of Neurology & Psychiatry at the Kirksville College of Osteopathy & Surgery, they replied that “First of all, neither we nor the American Psychiatric Association’s office here in New York are acquainted with the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. (This sham was to be expected of the A.P.A. in 1947) Would you be good enough to request that body to send us some formal statement of their standards for certification or for issuing diploma so that we may have a basis on which to decide whether members of this group should automatically be approved --- or not “. Believe me, I spelled it out for them, chapter and verse; my letter is on file, but it is sufficient to report here that I was able to establish that Doctors of Osteopathy were sufficiently trained in psychology and psychiatry to be approved for the purchase of psychological test materials. How we worked in those early days to smooth the way for you who are sitting so easily in the drivers seats today!

After the success of the program put on by the A.C.N. at the Convention of the American Osteopathic Association in Boston (which was the 11th annual meeting of the College), the Executive Committee decided to hold the next A.C.N. annual meeting at the Still-Hildreth Hospital in Macon, Missouri. The A.O.A. annual convention that year was scheduled for St. Louis, and it was agreed that the facilities at Macon (which the Hospital offered without charge) with its lake and its tennis courts would provide a resort- type setting for a leisurely, relaxed meeting, from which those who wished could easily reach the A.O.A. meeting immediately afterward. The dates chosen were Friday and Saturday, July 8th & 9th, 1949, leaving Sunday to travel to St. Louis for the opening of the A.O.A. convention on Monday, the tenth.

The climate and atmosphere of warm interpersonal relationships fostered by our 12th Annual Meeting at Still- Hildreth were so persuasive that the members and the Executive Committee agreed upon Macon as to locus for the Thirteenth Annual Convention, which was schedule for July 7th & 8th, again allowing Sunday for travel to Chicago by those who planned to attend that year’s A.O.A. Convention in the windy city. It was at this Twelfth annual session that the membership received the report by the secretary- treasurer of the letter From R.M. Tilley, D.O., Chairman of the Bureau of Professional Education an Colleges indicating action taken by the A.O.A. Board of Trustees at their July 1949 meeting: “That the College be accepted this year on probation with a statement that they must comply with the request of the Board before full recognition will be given” and “the Board of Trustees of the A.O.A., realizing the difficulties which would be caused by changing the name at this time, recommend to the American College of Neuropsychiatrists that they incorporate into all of their published material, including letterheads, etc., the designation ‘an osteopathic institution’, and work toward creating the possibility of changing the name to include the designation of ‘osteopathic school of practice’ in the corporate name as soon as that can be, or when it can be practical.”

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