I feel honored in being asked to write an introduction to this excellent book, "Stories From the Clinic," by Emily C. Lierman.
The stories have come directly from Mrs. Lierman's experience, and consequently are of intrinsic value. The patients, their symptoms of imperfect sight, and the treatment are all described in language which is so clear that anyone can understand.
For more than nine years Mrs. Lierman was my assistant in the out-patient department of the Harlem Hospital. She showed a great deal of understanding in treating the patients, adapting my method to each individual case. The cures she obtained were of the greatest value. She was particularly interested in the school children, and was so kind and patient with them that they all loved her. Her cures of imperfect sight without glasses were numerous. The way she treated the patients and the results obtained were a contribution to the practice of ophthalmology. For example, an old lady with absolute glaucoma in one eye, totally blind with no perception of light, visited the clinic to obtain relief from an agony of pain. Many doctors had previously advised the removal of one or both eyes, which has been for many years considered by regular physicians to be good practice. It has also been taught that no operation or treatment can cure the blindness resulting from absolute glaucoma. Mrs. Lierman was told that it was a hopeless case, but was asked to try to relieve the pain. She immediately treated the woman, and much to my surprise not only relieved the pain, but also improved the eye until the patient be came able to see at the distance, and to read fine print without glasses!
Of course, her work attracted attention and criticism. A prominent physician was sent one day to investigate. We told him the facts and a number of patients were treated for his benefit. He was very much interested in an elderly colored woman with cataract. This patient became able to read diamond type from six to fourteen inches from her eyes without glasses. The doctor, himself, was wearing glasses for distant vision and a stronger pair for reading. Mrs. Lierman treated him, also, with much benefit. From his personal experience and from his observation of the treatment of the patients by Mrs. Lierman, he was convinced that the method was one of great value. He had been sent to condemn, and remained to praise.
W. H. BATES, M.D.