officer or officers. The majority of the people on the Ad Hoc Panel appeared to be heading toward the use of the word "academy" in the organization's title. Most people agreed that the Board on Medicine in its present form had failed to meet the expectations generated by Page's discussion group and other advocates of a National Academy of Medicine. Still, profound differences remained between the Page-Comroe faction and McDermott. As Comroe put it, "Some of us believe very strongly that if it is to be a Board on Medicine or an Academy of Medicine, then it must be predominantly made up of medical people." If such a board or an academy were to be accepted, it had to be accepted among medical practitioners. This meant it had to overcome the stereotype that physicians always acted in their self-interest, desired nothing more than a trade union, and exhibited no concern for the country's future.66
Irvine Page aptly summarized the situation at the end of 1968. In an unguarded moment, he wrote that "there have been many, many arguments over the past year and a great deal of soul searching going on and there is no way of knowing how it is going to come out." To Dwight Wilbur, Page's friend and ally on the Board, it appeared that Walsh McDermott was "doing his best to fan the flames in his direction or on his behalf."67
As Wilbur's comment suggested, the Page faction spent much of the next year and a half in a state of frustration. One source was the inevitable delay. Another, more enduring source of frustration came with the announcement that Philip Handler, chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at Duke, would become president of the National Academy of Sciences on July 1, 1969. Unlike Seitz, Handler held no particular brief for a National Academy of Medicine. High on his list of priorities was a desire to strengthen the life sciences within the Academy. As part of this agenda, he hoped to elect more practitioners of medical sciences to the Academy and to strengthen the management of the National Research Council. None of this meshed with Page's plans.68
McDermott, too, experienced his share of aggravation. As the meetings of the Board on Medicine became more contentious, his job became more difficult. His finely honed sense of obligation did not permit him to retire from the Board until he had settled its future. This commitment forced him to attend endless rounds of meetings with Board members and NAS officials. Because McDermott regarded it as his duty to serve as an honorable intermediary between the Board and the NAS, he was often the bearer of bad news.
Nor did the Board's research projects bring much encouragement to Page, McDermott, or anyone else. The project to reform medical