The American College of Neuropsychiatrists

(An Osteopathic Institution)

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

The Lecture Sessions at Las Vegas undoubtedly were the finest College members had heard at any of their annual meetings, an accomplishment effected by a combination of three factors: a grant-in-aid from Hoffman La Roche (plus the ‘loan’ of a capable member of their staff, Lee Gordon, Ph.D.), the persuasive activity of our Program Chairman, ‘Syd’, and the teaching talents of the program participants. This program, January 15-17, 1962, provided the scientific educational material which made possible the realization of one of the goals toward which those of us who were active in College affairs had long been striving toward: the publication of a Scientific Journal by the American College of Neuropsychiatrists.

Previously, we had had to content ourselves with publishing occasional monographs in our Bulletin (which was really designed to serve as a news and communication medium for our own membership, and which had a small circulation) and persuading our A.O.A. Journal to occasionally run a “Neuropsychiatric Supplement” mad up of monographs presented by our members at our annual meetings. Now, as a result of the efforts of Paul Harbor, D.O., and Sydney Kanev, D.O., F.A.C.N., the Hoffman-La Roche Company of Nutley New Jersey was persuaded to financially underwrite an Annual Volume: A publication of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists (an Osteopathic Institution), title the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NEUROPSYCHIATRISTS. Volume I, Number 1. was published in June 1962. The Hoffman-La Roche company not only absorbed the publication costs of the Journal, but they helpfully supplied us with important editorial technology by loaning us the services of Sarah R. Gustafson, Ph.D. as our Managing Editor, plus continued behind-the-scenes guidance and advice by their Lee Gordon, Ph.D. The Journal was destined to survive only three issues. Its subsequent demise was due not to lack of good material, or lack of good editorial people, or lack of response of A.C.N membership and the scientific world at large, but due to interference of the United States Internal Revenue Service. In effect, the I.R.S. told Hoffman-La Roche that they could not continue to underwrite the cost of printing and distributing our Journal as a tax-free contribution to education and science. Since our own treasury could not afford these printing and distribution costs, journal publication had to be suspended. Though many of us have tried, and still are trying, to find ways to again subsidize publication of our Journal, efforts to date have been fruitless.

Our Silver Jubilee meeting in Las Vegas was memorable not merely because it marked the twenty-fifth year of growth and progress; not just because it was the year we obtained financial support of our Journal (although both of these were great accomplishments); it was significant because it was at this session that we set up the reorganization plan for our College that not only guaranteed its continued existence as an Osteopathic institution, but provided us with experienced capable leaders from the loyal two-thirds of our “pre-defection” membership who were able to steer us through the difficult re-adjustment years and on the new heights as a viable specialty organization. To accomplish this, Dr. Sydney Kanev agreed to progress from ‘Secretary-treasurer Pro-tem’ to Executive Secretary-treasurer (in fact, although there was necessarily a short intervening period before the constitutional changes could be made changing the title officially), and to accept the title of Editor in place of ‘editor pro-tem’. The conclave of Fellows thought that a person with considerable knowledge of the College and its modus operandi was needed at the helm and prevailed upon this historian to take a second turn at the wheel. The result was a panel of officers with George Guest as president, Floyd E. Dunn as president-elect, Irwin Rothman as vice-president (and program chairman for the 26th annual meeting) and Sydney Kanev as Secretary-treasurer, Harold Higley, and Cecil Harris, as ‘old China Hands’ were members of the Board of Governors. Drs. Higley and Harris “doubled in brass” by serving as Editor and Assistant Editor, respectively, of our new Journal of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists.

It often happens that the strengths of an organization are brought out in and through adversity, and this was certainly true for our College in the trying years of 1960, 1961, and 1962, during and following the California Merger in which we not only lost one-third of our membership, but were faced with the resignation of our Secretary-treasurer (a Californian) and the resultant chaos in our records and archives which were incompletely and in a disorganized fashion sent to “Syd” Kanev, who was uninitiated in the ways of A.O.A. officialdom and its interfaces with A.C.N. affairs as well as naïve regarding the ways A.C.N. was set up to operate. With the help of some of the “Old China Hands” in our ranks he was able to bring order our of chaos and by the next set of meetings with the A.O.A. committees on Post-Graduate Training and Advisory Board for Osteopathic Specialists, most of the problems were unsnarled. Meanwhile, as was reported above, the College launched its scientific journal, being the first osteopathic specialty college to be able to publish an independent periodical in which the literary-scientific endeavors of its members might be exposed to the world. This same year, though the efforts of many of our Philadelphia area members, Embryville State Hospital, a 1300-bed psychiatric facility of the Pennsylvania state hospital system, applied for inspection and approval of its residency by the American College of Neuropsychiatrists (their program was already approved by the A.M.A. through the American Psychiatric Association). This was the first time an allopathic Medical facility had officially requested approval of an Osteopathic institution for training at the graduate level (two state psychiatric hospitals in Missouri were officially offering undergraduate experience to senior students from our Kansas City College, and would later figure in a combined program set up by Dr. Ulett, Missouri State Director of Mental Health, and the Kirksville College). Some of the leaders of our American College of Neuropsychiatrists received all or part of their residency training at Embryville.

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