LeRoy Long, M.D.
■" education of Oklahoma particularly the infant School of Medicine. He had be-
-, come acquainted with Doctor Long and perservered until 1915 when he per-
"1 suaded the University's Board of Regents to appoint Doctor Long as Dean.
-^ Williams with Long in 1917 proposed that $200,000 appropriation be earmarked
for a University Hospital. This was opposed by a powerful contingent but
LeRoy Long, M.D., was authorized to practice Medicine and Surgery at
Atoka in the Choctaw Nation, July 5, 1895. Six weeks later the Principal Chief
of the Choctaw Tribe, Jefferson Gardner, issued a certificate allowing him to
practice in Caddo, I.T. This was the beginning of 45 years of medical service
to the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, and the State of Oklahoma. From the
outset LeRoy Long assumed leadership, especially in the area of medical organization. From 1896 to 1901 he was Secretary, then President, of the Indian
Territory Medical Association which had been formed in 1889. He was a
member of the committee that planned the merger with the Oklahoma Territory
Medical Association into the Oklahoma State Medical Association.
In November, 1899, he was appointed by Chief Greenwood McCurtain to
the newly reorganized Choctaw Board of Health. He served as President of ►
tko Roorrl until 1004 These three men appointed by the Chief of the Choctaws ,
the Board until 1904. These three men appointed by
were responsible for the public health of that Nation, as well as for examining j*
persons seeking licenses to practice medicine. During the first 6 months of n^TZj^
- , Williams threatened to wield his gubernatorial veto on all college appropriations
—^ until the hospital bill was passed. Williams did veto a proposal to spend money fh7s°"appoinVmentf Doctor Long and Doctor W. P. Hailey, the Secretary of the
i for a dome on the State Capitol building which was the same cost as the Board, spent their entire time in the prevention and treatment of small pox.;
r- . . i hospital. According to Doctor Mark Everett's book "Medical Education in Okla- witn t^e ^eyp 0f some hired physicians 8,000 Choctaw citizens were vaccinated '
T*TZ home," Williams reportedly said Oklahoma needs a teaching hospital "worse rat 25^ apiece) and many were quarantined in "camps." In their report in
J than it needs a dome for people to look at." Doctor Long served the school as October, 1900, they reported: "We point with pardonable pride to the signif-
■"" Dean until 1931. icant fact tnat out 0f foe many hundreds of cases of small pox in the Choctaw ■
On July 27, 1931, William H. Murray — then Governor — issued an exec- Nation not a single full-blood Indian and very few Indians of mixed blood had •
—■i utive order allowing any "chiropractor" to practice medicine in the University
ri"IlI."ZTI? Hospital. The idea of allowing "a member of one of the cults" to practice and
'•'■ ■ ' —"i treat patients in the University teaching hospital was anathema to Doctor Long.
He knew the Class A approval of the school given by the AMA could be
instantly withdrawn. This order resulted in Doctor Long's reluctant resignation
from his position of Dean of the Medical School. Eventually the State Supreme
Court reaffirmed the Regents jurisdiction over the hospital.
Although he never returned to the University in any official capacity, he
continued his remarkable devotion to medicine and medical ethics as well as
continued interest in state medical organizations. During the remaining nine
years of his life he was President of the Oklahoma County Medical Society, the
Oklahoma City Clinical Society and the Oklahoma State Medical Association,
the latter of which elected him President in 1934.
LeRoy Long, III, M.D.
the diseases and not a single Indian by blood or inter-marriage died of the r——
disease, and this in the face of the fact that there were nearly a thousand cases •"—"•*
coming under our observation." »«
The next year he reported that the health conditions in the Nation were J!
much better than had existed in previous years. Especially significant was that m
the quality of the men in the medical profession had greatly improved because *"
as he stated: "we believe we have succeeded in arousing an interest among
the better class of physicians who are now coming to our assistance in raising
■ *-■„. f.-;'*. ':.-.'T-™V
the standards of the profession, thereby making it so uncomfortable for the *"»*"»*"«
incompetents so that many of them are leaving the Nation." Incompetents and r_—t—,
irregular practitioners were a significant problem not only in Indian Territory *"•""••'—^
but also throughout the entire United States. His worry about this problem is »—tSI
evident in a letter to the AMA Council on Medical Education written shortly ' ' ■-
after his resignation as Dean and Professor of Surgery in 1931.
LeRoy Long wrote of his experience as a representative of the Oklahoma
State Medical Association to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention in January,
1907. The President of the Convention was William H. Murray. Murray introduced a resolution in which the Constitution of the new state would provide
for a Board of Health composed of all the "systems" of medicine, with no JJ
system having a majority. Long pointed out that regular members of the medical m
profession numbered 1886 in the State, while members of all other schools of JJ
practice numbered only 165, and further that the acceptable practitioners should m
have representation on the Board of Health in the same proportion. Adopted
was the following twelve word sentence: "The Legislature shall create a Board
of Health and prescribe its duties." This left it to the Legislature to work out
the question of practitioner representation on the board.
Robert Lee Williams of Durant, the third governor of the State of Oklahoma, was elected in 1914. He resolved to improve the system of higher
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