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TO CORRESPONDENTS. We bave received an official communication from Mr. Durand, Corre. sponding Secretary of the Pbiladelphia College of Pharmacy, acknowledging the receipt of the PharmaCEUTICAL. Journal, proposing a regular exchange of Journals and Correspondence, and expressing a desire to promote the objects of the PhanMACEUTICAL SOCIETY.
MR. BARTiEit has pointed out an error in the directions for preparing Pulvis extracti colocynth compositi, by Mr. Haselden (page 602, Vol. 1). The error consists in directing tl.e spirit to be drawn off befire the pulp is pressed, by which means that portion of colocynthi which had been dissolved by the spirit would be left in the dregs. It is evident that the pulp should be first pressed, and the spirit drawn off from the liquor,
L. P. B. thinks Mr. Fison (page 662) is mistaken in sumposing that the Prepared Sevum consists merely of old mould candles, and believes it to be tallow impregnated with oxygen gas.
MR. Black recommends the addition of a few drops of diluted acetic acid to the lard as a means of facilitating the reduction of the mercury (abont 20 drops to the pound). Although the quantity is small, we doubt the propriety of adding any acid which could enter into combination with the metal.-ED.
MR. WICKuam proposes in making the compound decoction of aloes, to macerate the solid ingredients in the compound tincture of cardamonis, to strain, and afterwards to add the water. We need hardly say the product would be essentially different from that made according to the Pharmacopæia.
A MEMBER (Bо ton) enquires how ink may be preserved from turning monldy and what can be the motive for adding chalk, which he says is sometimes done? The tendency to become mouldy may be prevented by addng a few grains of bichloride of mercury. or by infusing a few cloves with the other ingredients. A few drops of kreosote will also be found to answer the purpose. We imagine the object in adding chalk is to saturate the excess of acid, and thus to prevent the corrosion of steel pens.
P. J. The sample marked J is worthless. The other is rather better, but not good.
R. 1. T. M. P. S. The subject is under consideration, but we are not yet in a position to take the steps recommended.
MR. KNIGHT, of Bristol, has favoured us with a plan for establishing pro. vincial Schools of Pharmacy, which we hope in due time to see carried into effect. We think, however, that it would be imprudent to undertake so comprehensive a scheme, until the school in London is completely established, after which others may be formed, according to the means within our reach.
MR. James Joce has sent us a letter for insertion, stating his reasons for not having joined the Society. We have not published it, because it contains nothing more than the objection to the terms of admission, which has been so often answered, that we only need refer to our former remarks on the subject in Number III, and the Report of the Council in No. XII. In order to support any argument, it is necessary to be acquainted with the facts of the case.
“ One of the four" states, that out of a considerable number of Druggists in a certain district, only four have joined the Society, and observes that those who evince indifference, “ are not nice to a shade how they adulterate their drugs.” The latter assertion is a sweeping one ; if correct, it is sufficient to account for the former.
“C. H. An Associate,” is informed that the diploma is only intended for Members. See No. VI., page 265.
Advertisements to be addressed to Mr. Churchill, Princes Street, Soho.
Other Communications to The Editor, 338, Oxford Street.
VOL. II.-No. II.-AUGUST 1st, 1842.
PHARMACY IN GREAT BRITAIN.
EDUCATION AND EXAMINATION.
In order to explain as clearly as we are enabled to do, the nature of the several examinations which are to be instituted, and the progressive steps by which the student will be expected to rise from the commencement of his career until he becomes a Member of the Puarmaceutical Society, we shall commence with an allusion to the initiation of the Apprentice, into the art and mystery of the business.
Having lived for a month or more on trial with a Pharmaceutical Chemist, and decided in favour of embarking in the business, the student must be examined in his classical attainments. If in London or within ten miles, this will take place at the house of the Society, but those who reside at a distance, and cannot make it convenient to come to London for the purpose, may be examined by a classical tutor or such qualified person as may be satisfactory to the Board of Examiners. The object of ihis examination is to prevent uneducated young men entering the business. The Latin language, being an acquirement indispensable to the Chemist, will form the ground-work of the present examination; but French, Arithmetic, and other branches of knowledge are also important, and it has been suggested by some persons, that Greek and Algebra ought to be included.
This however is more than we can expect at present, and whatever' may be the future decision of the Council as to the extent of acquirements required in an Apprentice, we are justified in stating that the early examinations will not be unreasonably strict.
The Secretary having received the certificate of qualification given by the examiner or examiners, the indentures are to be executed and registered in due course, and the apprentice commences his labours. On payment of the subscription of one guinea annually, he is entitled to enjoy whatever educational advantages a connection with the Society can afford, and by paying proper attention to the practical details of his business,
and employing his leisure hours in study, he ought, in the course of four or five years, to become a qualified Assistant.
But before he can assume the grade of an Associate, he must pass an examination in Pharmacy, and it is desirable that this should take place immediately, or as soon as possible after the expiration of his term of apprenticeship. In order to remove any unnecessary obstacles to the early attainment of this rank, without lowering the standard of qualification for members in a manner which would affect the credit of the Society, a Minor EXAMINATION is instituted, which is designed expressly for Associates. The subjects comprised in this examination, are the Pharmacopæia of the London College of Physicians, Prescriptions, and practical Pharmacy. An acquaintance with the substances in daily use in Pharmacy, a knowledge of the technical terms employed in designating and prescribing them, and the ordinary affinities and decompositions which are involved in the processes of the Pharmacopeia and dispensing business, with a certain amount of practical skill in manipulation, comprehend the substance of the attainments which can reasonably be expected in a student at this period. Having been found sufficiently qualified in these particulars, he receives a Certificate from the Board of Examiners, stating that he is competent to act as an Assistant to a Chemist and Druggist, and is eligible as an Associate of the PharMACEUTICAL Society. He must now pursue his studies with increased diligence, and if in London, or any other place in which lectures are within his reach, he should avail himself of the opportunity, especially if he has not enjoyed this advantage during his apprenticeship. Those who from locality, or other circumstances, are unable to attend lectures, should endeavour to supply the deficiency by reading, collecting and studying plants, making chemical experiments on a small scale, and endeavouring to apply the knowledge obtained from books, to the practical operations of the dispensing counter or the laboratory.
Lectures are not absolutely necessary to the student in Pharmacy. We have occasionally met with young men who have been educated in the country, remote from any advantages of this description, who have, by their own industry, and by availing themselves of instruction and opportunities of improvement afforded by their employers, attained a sound practical knowledge of their business, and a degree of proficiency which would have enabled them to pass with ease the examination to which we have been alluding. Yet it cannot be denied, as we have already had occasion to observe, that lectures greatly facilitate the acquirement of information--that they lessen the labour of the student by directing his researches into the right channel
and giving him a methodical plan of study, and consequently this privilege should never be undervalued or neglected by those who have the means of enjoying it.
When the Associate has sufficiently qualified himself, and wishes to change his condition by commencing business on his own account, his next step is to obtain the diploma of the PharmaCEUTICAL SOCIETY, by passing the Mayor EXAMINATION. This comprises the Pharmacopeia of the London College of Physicians; Chemistry, Materia Medica, Botany, and Pharmacy as embodied in the Pharmacopeia : Prescriptions, and the antidotes for common poisons. The difference between this examination and the former consists in the degree of proficiency required on all the subjects, and the addition of the science of Chemistry, Botany, and the rudiments of Toxicology, to those enumerated as applicable to Associates.
But it must be understood that the Council have determined to moderate the severity of both the minor and major examinations in the first instance, adapting them to the present condition of the candidates, and intending to increase the extent of the ordeal as the progress of education enables them to do so, without inflicting injustice on individuals, or obstructing the prosperity of the Society, by making the laws respecting admission too prohibitory.
It has frequently been urged as an objection to the constitution of the PHARMACEUTICAL Society, that membership obtained by purchase, and a diploma which does not represent an examination, can confer no credit or professional respectability on members. If all our brethren had entertained the same limited views on this subject, the nucleus of the Society, if formed at all, would have been extremely small, and it would have been impossible to erect upon such a basis the superstructure of an institution which would come into general operation within a reasonable time.
Experience has demonstrated the policy of the course which was adopted. We have now united into one body a large number of Members and Associates—we have obtained an amount of support which will enable us to carry out the objects we have in view, and we have extended the interest in the Society to all parts of the kingdom.
Those who objected to join us as original Members or Associates, for the reason above alluded to, have now the opportunity of gaining that distinction which they desire, by passing an examination; and we hope that the same kind of emulation will prevail even in cases in, which an examination is not compulsory. It cannot be expected that a man who has been many years
in business would willingly submit to an ordeal which might place his professional reputation in jeopardy, and which he would have passed with comparative case at an earlier period.
The groundwork of an education in Pharmacy, as in other avocations, may have become involved by time in some degree of oblivion, although the superstructure is not defective; and a man may be perfectly qualified to superintend a business which he has established, and for many years carried on, although the rudiments of his early studies, which would naturally occupy a place in an examination, are partially obliterated from his memory.
For this reason, the Council have thought it right to take into consideration the circumstances of those Chemists, who have not had the opportunity of obtaining much information as to the nature and objects of the Society, and who may have withheld their support on this account. Accordingly, in the law respecting examination, an exception was introduced, einpowering the Council to admit without examination, on payment of an entrance fee, such persons as had been actually in business on their own account prior to July the 1st, and who might fairly claim this indulgence.
But it must be understood that this exception will be acted upon with a due consideration of the circumstances of each particular case, and subject to a ballot; that it is not intended for young men who have recently commenced business, and is not applicable in any instance to Associates. The great object which we have in view is improvement: the enjoyment of privileges and prosperity should be looked forward to, as the reward of merit, and not as merely the result of a defensive struggle ; and in the attainment of that position which we hope to enjoy, the education of our members, and the examination by which their qualifications will be tested, will form the basis of our claim to the superintendence and controul of our own body.
It is therefore of the highest importance, that the improved education which we have undertaken to provide, and the examinations which are the natural sequel, should come into general operation without delay.
Those young men who feel an interest in their profession, and are ambitious of gaining a creditable position in it, should consider the advantage they will enjoy in the possession of a certificate of qualification, and instead of shrinking from a trial in which they ought to feel some confidence of success, their whole energies should be devoted to those preparatory studies which are likely to secure them against a failure.
Many who have come to London to obtain situations, and whose time is therefore unoccupied, would find it answer their