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.

October 1953 saw the appearance of the first professionally printed issue of our College Bulletin, still under the direction of our first Bulletin editor; Thomas J. Meyers D.O., Ph.D., F.A.C.N. At this time, Tommy also served on the A.O.B.N. P., and on the Evaluating Committee and the Membership Committee of the A.C.N. Only whose who were officers in the A.C.N. during those early years know how much time this Founding Father devoted voluntarily to osteopathic neurology & psychiatry. He achieved considerable renown on the west coast in other somewhat related areas as well (notably psychology and forensic medicine) and during his active career was listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who on the Pacific Coast, Who’s Who in California, Who’s Who in Los Angeles County, Who’s Who in American Education, and World Biography. He was also a persistent worker at A.O.A. levels and perhaps more than any other single D.O. was responsible for the early growth and development of the Advisory Board for Osteopathic Specialists. It is a shame that his death went unannounced and un-honored by a profession to which he has given so much.

At the Atlantic City meeting, the Executive Committee set up a central Screening Bureau for Applicants for Graduate Training, and charged the committee with the task of devising methods to assure that only well- qualified trainees were accepted into our programs at neurological and psychiatric training centers in the osteopathic profession. The Committee presented its proposals in the February 1954 issue of the Bulletin of A.C.N. The essential features were: A Central Screening Bureau would be established at the official address of the A.C.N. All D.O.’s wishing to enter training programs in A.C.N.- approved centers would first apply to the Central Screening Bureau which would then evaluate the applicant on the basis of criteria which would establish his potential for adequate adaptability to the specialty which he wished to enter. The first criterion was an intelligence level high enough to make it possible for him to grasp the material (an I.Q. of at least 125). The second criterion was emotional stability. This would be evaluated by a personal interview with a skilled interviewer, plus a psycho-diagnostic battery (to be administered and interpreted by a qualified clinical psychologist) consisting of Rorschach, the T.A.T., the Machover Draw-a-Person, the Thematic Apperception and Minnesota Multiphasic (plus any additional tests which the psychologist felt needed or desirable for his evaluation). The third criterion was his adaptability and aptitude for work in the specialty as determined my a personal interview with a training psychiatrist (preferably one from the center at which the candidates desired to train). Through the use of the Central Screening Bureau, candidates would have the opportunity to have their credentials and test results sent to any training center having a vacancy if there was none that year at the center of the candidates’ first choice. This report was presented to the membership of the College at the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the A.C.N. in Toronto, July 10th, 1954.

There was a hiatus in publication of the Bulletin form October 1954 to February 1956. The October issue in 1954 was labeled Vol. VIII, No. 1; the February 1956 issue was labeled Vol. IX, No.1. Consequently this historian must rely on his personal recollections and preserved correspondence for the events of that period. Since I moved from president-elect to president at the Toronto Meeting, I know that Ralph I. McRae of Dallas, Texas was elected President-elect, Oscar Janiger of Los Angeles California became vice- president and Don C. Littlefield continued as Secretary- treasurer. Thomas J. Meyers of Pasadena California continued as our Editor, and was largely responsible for the appearance of a “Neuropsychiatric Supplement” (consisting of six scientific papers and some book reviews) in the November 1954 issue (vol.54, No.3) of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The Toronto meeting was memorable in that it was the place where the responsibility of the Register of Training Programs, Fellows & Residents, and Preceptors and Osteopathic Training Centers in Neurology & Psychiatry all were transferred from the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology & Psychiatry to the Evaluating Committee of our American College of Neuropsychiatrists.

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