Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Human problems" sans the "humanism"?

Working on a query about the history of the Avel Gordly Center for Healing, formerly the Behavioral Health Clinic, we had the distinct pleasure of reading a little bit about Dr. Edward M. Scott, professor of psychiatry at the University of Oregon Medical School/OHSU.

(By the by, we don't have much information on the Behavioral Health Clinic, so if you know some of the story behind its founding, we'd love to hear from you.)

In a 1973 article from the Oregonian entitled "Dr. Scott likes to work on human problems", we learn that Dr. Scott's manner was, according to some, a little short on the actual humanity:
No question that Dr. Scott has aided thousands of Oregonians and won respect for his results. Still, he cuts a controversial figure. He has been heard to use heavy sarcasm on patients; often he faces them with a stern face, bulldog chin, and forceful look.

'He is too abrasive,' a former colleague said. 'He is too rough and sarcastic,' said another, and a former wino asserted, 'I don't like him.'

But the latter did stop drinking, and that's what matters to Edward Scott. 'I'm not really interested in how people feel about me. They'll thank me when I do my job effectively, or condemn me when I don't. Being nice or sarcastic, either one, isn't worth a damn. It's a question of whether I help them.'

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