Doctors Clash At St Lukes Hospital


February 12, 1905  51247

All the 11 doctors on the staff of St Lukes have or are about to resign.  Led by Dr Catterson, head of the staff, Dr Essig and Dr Witter the most senior physicians who have done the same.

Four others are about to quit.

The question is whether the medical staff at the hospital can nominate which candidates can join the staff, or is it the privilege of the hospital Board of Directors?

It is a fight between the Spokane Medical Society and the Inland Empire Clinical Association.  The Spokane Medical Society is made up of older doctors claiming ethical actions.

The Inland Empire Clinical Society is headed up by Dr Charles Thomas.  He is fully supported by President Lewis Rutter, head of the Spokane and Eastern Bank.   He leads the hospital Board of Directors.

The charge is that the Inland Empire Clinical Association is cutting the prices charged by the Spokane Medical Society.

What's Happening

The problem started when Doctor Thomas was given his position on staff, against the desires of all the other 11 doctors.  

Dr Charles Thomas has now sent a load of patients to the hospital.   He wants to be part of the staff with the right to decide things.  Right now, he claims he is being kept out in the cold.

The Controversy

A recent case has been  shown as an example of the competition between the groups....

A recently burn patient went to his doctor who estimated that if he placed a balm on a burn wound, he would charge $50.  He thought the balm would cure the patient. 

That same patient then went to Dr Thomas, seeking a less costly solution.    The patient ended up selecting Dr Thomas who likely had cut the price.   The other doctors screamed "ethically wrong".

Doctor Mausey, a member of the Inland Empire Clinical Association says it is a "humbug" - and he does not like the way the Spokane Medical Society charges.  The feud has been going on for 8 years.

The way St Lukes Hospital operates now is - two doctors on staff completely run the operation each month.  They make all the decisions, take care of deciding on what to charge charity patients, do all the nurse training, and have a lot of control over running the hospital.   Each month  leadership rotates and two different doctors are in charge.

The hospital's current policy is that once a year every staff doctor has to stand up to be voted back on the staff.  The Spokane Medical doctor group wants the practice stopped.  They want staff appointment made permanently, not yearly, unless someone is doing poorly.


Below is the fee schedule charged by the Spokane Medical Society.


General Office Visit - $3.00

Special Office Visit with Examination - $5.00

Day Visit within 2 miles $-2.50

Visit within 2 miles - 10pm to 8am - $5.00

Day or Night Visit beyond 2 miles, $1 per mile

Consultations - $10.00

Second Consultation - $2.50

Vaccination in Office - $1.00

Administration of Anesthetic - $5.00


Natural Labor, 4 days - $35.00

Completed Labor - $50.00

Miscarriage, Removal of Placenta $25.00


Amputation of Hip or Shoulder Joint - $200.00

Amputation of Thigh - $150.00

Amputation of Foot, Leg, Arm, or Forearm - $50.00

Amputation of Finger or Toe - $25.00

     FRACTURES - redaction of simple fracture

Thigh - $100.00

Leg, Arm $50.00

Clavicle, Scapula, or ribs $25.00

Patella $75.00


Shoulder, Knee, Ankle, Elbo $25.00

Laxation of Thumb $20.00

Sprain Ankle, Wrist $25.00


Hemorrhoids $250.00

Pancreas, Thorax or Abdomen $15.00

Hernia, by manipulation $10.00

Hernia by operation $100.00

Circumcision $15.00

Hydrocele or Varicecale $50.00

Fistula in Anus $100.00

Tracheotomy $50.00

Intubation $50.00

Removal of Tonsils $15.00

Removal of Polyps $20.00

Clubfoot $10.00

Laparotomy (abdominal operation) $200.00

Lithotomy (stone in bladder) $200.00

Trephining skull $200.00

Curettage $25.00

Xray $5.00








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