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News Brief

April 9, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Leading Jewish doctors of New York and other cities have just returned home after participating in the “Floating Congress” of the Pan American Medical Association held on board the S. S. Pennsylvania on a sixteen day cruise to South America. One hundred and seventy-five scientific papers were presented at sixty-four separate sessions on board ship, covering a wide range of medical and surgical problems. In addition special sessions were held in Venezuela and Puerto Rico in which doctors from these tropical countries participated. The hea’s of four nations, including President Juan Vincente Gomez of Venezuela, acted as official hosts to the delegates.

Dr. Bernard Sachs, president of the New York Academy of Medicine, who was honored by being elected one of ten American doctors serving as vice-presidents of the association, delivered three important papers during the congress and was the principal speaker at a special meeting dealing with education of the modern child. One of Dr. Sachs’ papers–a discussion of nervous and mental disorders of childhood–aroused great interest at the convention, for in this paper the noted New York physician minimized the significance of heredity in nervous illnesses and urged a conservative viewpoint on sterilization, claiming that some of our greatest personalities have come from so-called tainted stocks, and declaring that absolute race purity was rarely ever attainable.


In another address he spoke of the opportunities offered by medical organizations in the field of public health, and advocated the participation of physicians in local political affairs, especially in matters dealing with the health of the community, emphasizing, however, that doctors should take part in political activities not as politicians, but as public spirited citizens.

The modern psychoanalyst’s viewpoint was presented by Dr. Philip R. Lehrmann of New York, director of the Mental Hygiene Clinic of Post Graduate Hospital. Dr. Lehrmann, who studied with Professor Sigmund Freud in Vienna, was responsible for the interesting statement that fixed characteristics are not existent in individuals or nations and that individual and national characteristics may be altered.

Diseases of the digestive tract were discussed by other notable Jewish physicians, among them Dr. Max Einhorn and Dr. I. W. Held of New York.

Methods of treatment of tuberculosis were discussed by Dr. Edgar Mayer, Director of the Pulmonary Department at Cornell Medical College, Dr. James Edlin and Dr. M. Tannenbaum.

Dr. Joshua Sherman of Lancaster, Pa., demonstrated on many of the passengers an original method of treating seasickness, which was the subject of a paper he read at one of the sessions of the Congress.

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