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Thursday February 23, 2017
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Michigan's Homeopathic Hospital

 

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Only two other American universities had both allopathic and homeopathic colleges. The frantic struggles and lobbying stopped after the College of Homeopathy became official, but relations between the two camps at U-M were never harmonious. This was apparent in 1902, when two professors of homeopathy examined a patient in the care of the allopathic hospital. Seneca Litchard had sustained a serious head injury and was incapacitated. Doctors proposed putting him in an asylum, but Washtenaw County judge Willis Watkins wanted a second opinion and ordered the homeopaths to see the patient. The Detroit Free Press reported: "At 2 o'clock this afternoon 1902 Feb 12, two homeopaths marched upon the allopath stronghold. They were admitted and found the air quite frigid. The examination was very short and throughout its progress the medical students stared suspiciously at the enemy." The homeopaths evidently concurred with the allopaths, since Litchard was consigned to the Pontiac State Asylum.

Despite the ill will, the two therapeutic approaches were no longer so far apart. Traditional medical doctors had thought most diseases could be cured by a handful of methods, such as bleeding, but toward the end of the nineteenth century they began to rely more and more on scientific evidence to determine which therapies worked. In what came to be known as the "therapeutic revolution," knowledge about cell pathology, physiology, and effective treatments grew exponentially. The late nineteenth century has been described as the time when medicine began to work.

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