The Merger


Counselor Seth Hufstedler interviewed by Dr. Michael Seffinger, DO

at the law offices of Morrison & Foerster in Los Angeles, California
December 14, 2005

  • Dr. Seffinger:  Good morning Mr. Hufstedler. Thank you for granting us this interview.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Good morning.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  First of all, could you tell us who you are, your background, training and a little bit about how you became involved with the osteopathic profession?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, lets see, I was born a long time ago, for a young fellow like you. I was born in 1922. I think that was when they passed the osteopathic act, so that was probably a good time. I was born in Oklahoma, but my family came to southern California when I was four. I was raised in Bakersfield, and eventually went to school at USC. I spent four years at USC. Since I entered before the war in 1940, I stayed at SC. I entered the Naval Reserve and managed to get an ensign’s commission at the same time I graduated from USC. I spent three years in the Navy in WWII. When I came back I went to Stanford. I spent three years there and graduated in 1949. I have practiced law in Los Angeles ever since. Sometime in the 50s I started representing the San Gabriel Valley Hospital, which was an Osteopathic Hospital. I got acquainted with a lot of very fine people out there. I thought a great deal of, and represented them, for some little time. And then in the late 1950’s some of them, and members of the California Osteopathic Association, asked me if I would represent them in connection with their dealings with the California Medical Association. So as you can see by that late date, it was probably ’58 or there about (give or take a year) the groundwork had already been laid for what ultimately was going to happen. They now wanted a lawyer to undertake that with them and that’s when I started. That’s how I got there.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. Do you remember the caliber of people you met in the osteopathic and in the COA and the CMA?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes, well actually it was really a remarkably good bunch of people. They were dealing with a very hard problem. I don’t have to tell you how emotional the problem is of dealing with the potential differences and similarities of the medical profession and the osteopathic profession. The professional associations seemed to be a focus for the more difficult problems. The individuals got along a lot better than the associations did. But the people, both in the CMA and the COA at that point, I thought were a very high caliber people. So the best way to work this out was by approaching it from a high level point of view, not some narrow political advantage for either side. I thought the people on the CMA side were fair, and the kind of people you wanted to negotiate with. We had a lot of things to negotiate and work out. I thought the people who primarily handled it on the CMA side were remarkably good. Dr. Caylor was kind of the grandparent for this entire plan, I think, long before I got there. Fory Grunigen had taken over, really, much of the ideological direction. Dorothy Marsh came in as president. She was a very bright and vigorous person to carry this forward. They had a very good combination of people. There were another dozen people who were very active and had a lot to do with it.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  I suspect when you first came into this you didn’t know that much about osteopathic medicine. Was there a learning curve that you went through? What did you notice that was unique or different about the DOs especially at that time, you know, your first impression?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, there was obviously a learning curve. Very early on they gave me some materials about Dr. Still and various other things having to do with osteopathy that I looked at. I talked at length with various people to get some ideas of what their ideas were and what might have been different as well as similar with the medical profession. That continued and still does I guess. All through the years I would raise a point or they would raise a point and we would discuss it.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  What did you learn? Did you remember your impressions of what the profession stood for at that time? What constituted an osteopathic profession different from or unique from an MD profession?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, clearly the phrase musculoskeletal alignment was important and meant a great deal to the osteopaths and they explained that to me on many different occasions so I had some ideas about that. I do think that, so far as the osteopaths were concerned, they were very much interested in trying to help their patients. They recognized that there was a division with the medical profession. They wanted to show that DOs could do ever bit as well as MDs could, and perhaps better, so they had a strong desire that I thought was very commendatory.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Did that perception change over time in your association with them?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  No, I don’t think it did. They also were, as you well know, in that category where some people thought they may be inferior to the medical profession. They had that concern. I think it’s a little bit like AVIS, you know, if you are number two you try harder; they were trying pretty hard to do it right.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  In your perception was there an inequality in the way that DOs were treated in the state California? Could you perceive any differences?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I think that really was an individual kind of thing. The DOs were popular in California; a lot of people would much prefer them to MDs. They were under the same medical acts, had to have the same kind of education, the same kind of requirements. That always impressed me as the most fundamental thing. Their requirements to practice were the same.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Your responsibility then was to represent the COA, the California Osteopathic Association, right?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes, to represent the Association, to see in their ongoing negotiations with the CMA, and to see what kind of agreement could be put together: what the terms of it would be, and how it would be carried out.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Could you talk to us a little bit about those events and those things that you participated in, maybe telling us what exactly they were, what kinds of things you had to do in that capacity, and to give us some insight.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  There were several major headings that had to be dealt with. First of all you had all the statutory structure governing the medical profession and the osteopathic profession. So all of that infra- structure had to be dealt with to see if you were going to put them together - how you could combine all of those things. That’s a lot of technical stuff, but it really was a lot of hard work in the long run to deal with all of the statutes and all the measures that had to be dealt with. You had the problem of education, the accreditation of the school, what happened to the school, who was going to own it, how was it going to be dealt with, how it was going to be supported and how it was going to get accreditation through the AMA, and the AMA related institutions that have to deal with accreditation. Then of course you had the practice rights, the identification of the individuals are they going to be identified simply as MDs or are they going to be identified by some other kind of name or title as a result of this change. All of that had to be taken care of. And then you had the huge problem of dealing with all of the people out there who didn’t agree. They wanted to prevent this from going ahead; either educationally, by accreditation, or by some other things; so you had to deal with all of those.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  So then there was also the issue about specialists that had different problems and different agendas.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Absolutely, always had that problem, still have it and will have it forever in the medical profession.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Do you remember those concerns?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes. The important thing, I think was that the merger agreements were intended to deal with the overall picture with a big umbrella and not deal with the specific problems of that sort which might be quite different in the individual professions. Usually the relationship of specialist individuals is determined locally and by individuals. So for the most part, I think the merger didn’t deal with that and they tried to avoid that kind of a problem.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. What were some of the challenges that you ran up against beside the difficulty with the technical nature of the problem (of course the laws and things), but what other kinds of problems. Were there personal challenges, issues that were just too difficult to get people to actually consent upon or come to agreement upon, and what were the difficult areas that really stick out in your mind?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I think there was a fairly strong feeling initially that it was worth a great deal of effort to try to put the two professions together, they were governed by the same medical laws, their objectives were the same (to take care of their patients), and that there didn’t need to be political divisions between them that might make this more awkward. So I think they started with really a very good base among the DOs for the merger. I think there was more opposition among the MDs, and many of them thought they in some respects were superior. They really didn’t think they wanted to do that. But there was also some opposition among the DOs, particularly the opposition that came from the American Osteopathic Association. They were in a very strong position. The major job, I guess that we all had with respect to that, was to try to get the information out to everybody. We organized, after this is well down the way. We have basically an agreement to go forward. We organized with what Dorothy Marsh called our ‘dog and pony show.’ With Dorothy, Hap Hazzard, the lawyer for the CMA (or somebody else representing them), two or three doctors and I covered pretty much the state. We went to all the major state medical associations and tried to get the smaller ones together, so we could deal with them, to answer all their questions, and to tell them as much as we could. The biggest problem was to get the information out.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay, then you took that information to the AOA as well, right?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes, we did. Fortunately, I was just a lawyer. You know you put a lawyer in with a bunch of doctors and they are not going to pay attention to a lawyer. We went back to the AOA convention at a time it was now coming to a head and that was the Kansas City Convention, I think in 1959.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Do you remember that?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I do remember that and much to the surprise to the California delegation, the Chairman of the AOA, the President, I guess it was, made a speech talking about how terrible it was to have all this merger and how California, if it went ahead, was going to get kicked out. They eventually had an executive session of a couple of hours or so where the matter was discussed fully by the California MDs as well as the California DOs (Dorothy Marsh primarily for the DOs). The net result was that the AOA didn’t buy it.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. So you had, I guess, another step there. How would it have made a difference if the AOA support you or not, how did that even matter?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I guess in the long run it didn’t. The DOs in California didn’t want to offend or damage the DOs in the rest of the country. In fact, they thought it would be helpful if the DOs in the rest of the country would get together with them and do the same thing which was a possibility at that point because they had the large share of the medical profession here in California and it was willing to support it. But the AOA was determined that they were not going to have it.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  So, Dorothy Marsh and your entourage decided that you might be able to convince the AOA to combine with the AMA?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  They thought that was a possibility.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. And then when they said no, then the decision had to be, well are we going to separate from the AOA?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Remember it was the AOA who said, no, not only that, but don’t you do it or we will kick you out. It wasn’t a question of California just saying, “Well, go ahead and do it.”
  • Dr. Seffinger:  But even if California engaged in merger talk and actually formed a merger, they wouldn’t be part of the AOA anyway.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  That’s quite right. Of course they wouldn’t.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  So, what did it matter what the AOA did.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I suppose it didn’t in the long run because they were going to do whatever they were going to do.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. Are there any failures that you can recall, things that you tried to do, but just didn’t happen or didn’t work out?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes. Probably the most interesting one was, we sat down with the Counselor for the Board of Regents, can’t remember his name I think it was Cunningham. He was a retired Superior Court Judge, and we worked out an agreement whereby we would now give the California College of Medicine (the old COP&S) to the University of California, lock stock and barrel. They got the works. They invested, these numbers aren’t exactly accurate by any means, but they put a hundred million dollars into a school at UCLA and were turning out just a handful of doctors. Here we had a medical school that was turning out 80 or 90 well qualified doctors every year which we were willing to give them for nothing, just there it was. And they came around on that, they liked the idea. We drafted the contract set it all out and then I got a call from Cunningham one day, if that was his name, I think it was. He said the Board of Regents changed its mind; we are not going to do it. That was a serious problem, obviously. And we had to make some arrangement with respect to the school. We could have continued the school as an independent non-profit and that sort of thing, so it wasn’t necessarily a road block, but it certainly was inconvenient. Then the interesting thing was Clark Kerr was in as president, and you are well aware of the fact, and that there was a wonderful guy named Steve Teale, who was a DO, who was the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the California Senate. So the California budget came up for action, and it had to be placed first in the Ways and Means Committee in the Senate. Nothing happened. It didn’t get called up. It didn’t get put on the calendar, and finally after many inquiries and getting no help at all, Steve Teale comes into his office one day and there is Clark Kerr sitting there. Clark said, “Well Steve, how can we get our budget on the calendar and go forward? Steve said, “it’s simple, just sign that contract and we’ll get it underway.” In a couple of weeks it was back on track and we got the contract signed. As you know it’s now owned by the University of California Irvine, the California College of Medicine, a fine medical school. That’s how it happened.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Interesting. Do you remember much about Steven Teale?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes, I remember a lot about Steven Teale.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  You know we don’t have a lot of written material on him. I can find a paragraph in Sacramento in the archives and that’s about it. If you could help us understand him a little bit about him that would be helpful.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  He was a powerful man in the Senate, being the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. We had, I think eight legislative measures that had to be passed, a couple of constitution amendments, we had an initiative measure, and then we had several statutory measures. Steve took on the responsibility of dealing with all the folks you needed to, to get the matters organized so it could go through, eventually they all went through by a large majority (you know 90% yes and maybe a vote no here or there) and that was about it. So he was the guy really responsible for making it easy where it could have been difficult to get all the legislative measures passed to get them on the ballots, and then of course the initiatives and other matters were adopted by the general vote. But he was a very strong man. A great believer in osteopathy and he thought this was good for the profession.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  That is the difficult part for us forty or fifty years down the line trying to understand when all these people are so devoted to osteopathy yet they are willing to give up osteopathy to then become an MD to be accepted into society. That thought process is difficult to understand which is why we are doing this project - to understand how that comes about.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I think what’s wrong with your observation is that they were not giving up osteopathy. What they were doing was incorporating osteopathy into the mainstream of medicine. And they accomplished it to a great deal, you know, look at the kinds of medicine that are practiced today. The kind of therapy and recovery things that people are doing is really an outgrowth of many of the osteopathy things.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  That would be nice to be able to trace.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I think it probably could be.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  I think we need to look at the people that ended up making that change, that MD degree. What did they do with it? How did they make that change within the mainstream of medicine?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, the osteopaths that became MDs didn’t change the way they practiced. They practiced the same kind of medicine they had practiced all the time. They just had a different two letters after their name. And they did a great deal to get it incorporated in mainstream medicine.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Did you catch any visions of that that you can share with us? How did you see that transition?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, only with respect to various departments in hospitals and other clinics where they were incorporating many of these ideas. They had that.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  In Los Angeles?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  In L. A., yes. I can’t give you any specifics on it, but the doctors were involved so that they were accomplishing it.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay, that would be something that would be good for us to look into.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Sure.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  In working out the details of this merger, there were times when you guys had to meet in private to work things out. Why was there a need to be, ah, such secrecy about working out this process? What was the problem with this that had to be so under-the-table type of thing?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I’m not sure that you are right to say a secrecy and under-the-table. It’s true that we weren’t out there announcing what we did every day. You can’t conduct negotiations that way. I have negotiated all sorts of transactions. I remember I sold a dog food company once to National Can. You don’t go out and tell everybody what you are doing. You may have to under FCC disclosures, if you are dealing with a stock company and that sort of thing. But the worse thing you can do is to go out and outline all the series of negotiations publicly while you are underway. The world doesn’t work that way.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay that’s good that you give us insight because right now that’s all the history books are saying is that they don’t know how those negotiations occurred other than they were in secrecy and all that sort of thing. I think they are missing perhaps the professionalism behind all this that you may be able to give us an insight towards so that we understand it better.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I must say, you know, it’s been a long time ago and maybe I am misremembering, but I have no recollection at the time of anybody complaining that these were serious secret or under-the-table negotiations. I have no recollections of that.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. I am referring to one of the things that Mr. Hazzard said in Forrest Grunigen’s biography, that you guys met, changed your names so that, you know, of your party at each hotel place where you met so people couldn’t trace you and tell where you were. That was an interesting point of view, I guess, to put in the book.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, it is interesting and I must say I have no recollection of that, but I’m sure if Hap Hazzard said it, it probably happened.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  So that’s why I get that impression.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes. No, I have no recollection of that.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  The concept of what I thought was that the AOA or the AMA, you know, would be upset to find out what was happening or people in the COA or CMA would be somehow riled up if they heard about what was going on. That may not have been the case. See, we don’t know how to interpret that.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes. Well, I think it’s clear as things went along that the AOA would have been very happy to do whatever they could to prevent that going forward and that very well could have been a possibility. But I must say, I don’t ever remember any kind of complaint about that. I certainly don’t remember of changing names to go some place, but Haps undoubtedly right.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. Then how long was your association then? You were with the COA from the end of the 1950s. How long did you continue with that?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, through the windup. Actually it took quite awhile because we had to get all the accreditation things worked out for the college and the procedures setup for review of medical background and so on with respect to the issuance of the degrees. Then we had the initial phases of the California College of Medicine and dealt with a number of issues with respect to that. That went on for some time. But certainly by 1962 with all the legislative acts, most of the major things had been taken care of and the others were more or less incidental as they went on for another year or two or three.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  And then I think the California College of Medicine didn’t get incorporated to UC’s system until about 1964 or so. Then there were these lawsuits against the different agreements that were made to make this school an MD school. There were some lawsuits over that. Then there were some lawsuits over the merger agreement. Were you retained continuously through that time period?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes, I was active for them through that time period. With respect to the lawsuit for example, I guess there were two dissenting members of the board of the California College of Medicine (old COP&S). I can remember Dorothy Marsh very much concerned about that lawsuit, she came down to the proceedings and promised me that, if I would win that lawsuit I would get free gynecological service for the rest of my life. So, I guess I’m entitled to it. I just was never able to use it because we did win the lawsuit.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Ha, ha, ha, she’s funny. So, did you continue on past 1967 or into 1968 when they had another lawsuit that involved the Attorney General?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  No, by that time I was not involved at all, and of course there wasn’t any COA any more or any kind of organization there. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even learn about the lawsuit until it appeared in the press. I was not involved in it in any way.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Were you involved with the California State Licensing Board at all?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Yes, we had some matters to deal with them. I can’t remember the specifics, but I think Forrest Grunigen ended up on that board. There were two or three minor things that came along that I had something to do with, but I couldn’t recall them at the moment - not of significance.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  There were some people that were allowed to get a license (an MD degree) and a license in the state of California for a short period of time. Then there were people that wanted to get that even after that short period of time, but the window was closed. Did that come up at all?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  No recollection about it at all.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. The perspective you have of going through all that and seeing the profession come back again to California and grow in the country as it did, do you have any advice or I guess wisdom to share about osteopathic training today that students of osteopathic medicine (people interested in it) might want to or should know about, some guidepost, and conversely for the allopathic students also?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, I don’t think I have any wisdom to offer. My only reactions are personal reactions. But I thought the fundamentals of osteopathy were important and valuable. I ended up with a large share of my various doctors being ex-osteopaths - then MDs. For some years after that most of them died off unfortunately. I still think their ideas are valuable and should be included with allopathy.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Do you have documents that you mentioned that you were involved in writing and creating a lot of these documents, legislative acts and things, constitutional amendment changes. Do you have access to those or ways that we can get copies of those for the archives?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  It’s possible. I certainly along with Hap Hazard drafted all those legislative measures that went forward as-well-as the agreement (the merger agreement itself), those are the things...we didn’t have a lot of other lawyers. It isn’t like things are today where you go out and hire a whole team of lawyers. Hap and I did those things. Occasionally, I’d have somebody else do something, but for the most part it was the two of us. So we did all of that. And I would have had files that had all of those things in it. Now files that long ago, they are not easy to find, but we have indexes on a number of files that I will have my secretary run. I could conceivably have a box of files at home on that.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay, that would be of interest. Do you know some people that we should contact that had an important part to play in the development of this history of Osteopathy in California?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  No, I think not. Obviously Hap Hazard you know about and whatever you can do there. I would certainly have got a hold of Dorothy Marsh early because she was a wonderful woman. I gather you did have a chance to get acquainted with her. She knew about as much about that as anybody. You have Bostick’s book, Bostick was involved from the beginning and all of those things. But the other key players have been dead for some time.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. Is there anything else you would like to talk about or discuss in relation to osteopathy in California, to this project, about this school, that you feel we should include in this historical presentation?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  No. I’m proud of the school, despite the recent bad publicity it has had about two or three things that have happened down there, not growing out of this in any way. It is a good school. It has turned out a lot of good doctors. I’m absolutely certain of that because my son graduated from there.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Did he really?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  He did indeed.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  I didn’t know that. Congratulations. When did he graduate?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, you know I have a son that has been here a long time. Actually he spent 13 years at UCI. He was an undergraduate. He went through medical school. He went through an internship and he taught at UCI for some time. So he spent a long time there and he likes it. It’s a great place.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  I did my residency there. That is how I got involved with these people. I did a research project with Dr. Van den Noort back in 1990 and worked with the 41st Trust Fund. Then went out and practiced in Torrance for ten years, and I was recruited to teach at the new college in Pomona. Then again became involved with the 41st Trust.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, I’m very fond of Dr. Van den Noort. I have one specific incident that has nothing to do with this, but I will tell you just because I thought he behaved so well. I was in Africa with a very good friend, whom I walked with many times. We were going to climb Mount Kenya, which we did; he didn’t because he was ill and became ill over there; as a result he ended up in emergency room and then in care for six weeks in Nairobi. He almost died and we had to get him out. Needing someplace to get him to, we hired a hospital plane after Van den Noort offered to take care of him. He said, “If we’d get him back, he’d take care of him here at the hospital.” And I thought that was just great. We eventually did get him on a hospital plane to East Australia, where he owned some hospitals. And he survived. He’s still running around the world with us. I appreciated that from Van den noort.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  That’s nice. Before we wrap it up here, I want to discuss a couple of concepts you introduced to make sure we understand and flush out a little bit. The concept of taking osteopathy into mainstream medicine - was it the impression of the DOs in the 1950s and with the people in charge of the COA that osteopathy had matured, it had reached its goal of trying to improve medicine, that it had already reached the point of what it was designed to do to begin with, and it was ready to come back in to mainstream if mainstream would accept it at that point? Did they feel that they had done what they were destined to do already and they were finished with that?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  No, I don’t believe I heard anybody state that view. They were proud of us in Osteopathy. They thought it did a good job. They believed that it had some advantages over medicine that did not recognize what osteopathy did. But with regard to incorporating it into regular medicine, if you can call it that, you can see so many rehabilitation departments which had brought so much of that into regular medical practice. It’s there now. But I don’t think anybody said, gee we are mature; we don’t need to do this anymore. I didn’t hear it.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  So was it an event that they thought would end discrimination for them? That they’d be respected as doctors and equal with MDs like they thought they should be?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I have no doubt that was important to some people. I think the really important thing is that we’re all trying to do the same thing. We all want to get as many good ideas as we can; put them together; and make them work. There is really no need or reason for there to be two divisions. I think that was the fundamental idea.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay, so they are trying to convince the CMA that they were worthy of being treated equally as MDs. And the condition was, “okay you guys, you can become MDs and we will treat you that way.” It was the condition, right?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I don’t think they really argued at that point, once they started negotiating about this I think the CMA had decided that, their medical education was good enough that they could be MDs. I don’t think it was a question of trying to persuade the medical profession that we are as good as you are.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay, so there are two things that come up, why wouldn’t the CMA just accept them as DOs and let them, you know, do what they would do as physicians? Why did they have to have an MD? Who cared, if they were accepted as they were?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, you still have a division. If you are going to have one unification then they really should be the same I would suppose. I have no doubt that they were happy to have the MD. Some of them would have preferred the DO, but they stayed with the DO. But most of them took the MD.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay, the other side of this would be, the school had to change to become an MD grant institution. Why couldn’t that have been done a decade earlier or two decades earlier? If that was what was really needed to make this whole thing work, why couldn’t it have been done a long time ago.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Well, you know better than I and I understand your saying this, but you know better than I the divisions that there have been between the MDs and the DOs across the country and still are You can’t say that, “Well, this all came about just because that all disappeared all of a sudden,” and there are still those differences. But in California they thought they were essentially the same and they could make it work together. Frankly, I think they did for many years.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  So it had to be a certain time when everyone was comfortable with that event, that it couldn’t have happened earlier or later than that.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Not every one. Ten percent voted against it, I suppose, but yes basically, the consensus was that.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Okay. And that consensus came from...I guess when you came into it that had already been made.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  I think that’s right.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  Right.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  And it was strongly supported by the fact that the same medical act applied to both professions.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  The 1913.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:  Right.
  • Dr. Seffinger:  The original, okay. The 1922 Act kind of used the same provisions of the 1913 Act so...
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   Right.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Okay. Some of the MDs had stated before the merger that they wanted to be able to take a test or actual training. How is it that you were able to manage to not have to do that?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   It was really a question of information, primarily on what the training was that the DOs had, plus the fact that when the California College of Medicine took on the job of reviewing them (you really had this body from the California College of Medicine looking at their educational requirements) to see that they had the requirements to meet the medical act. If they did, it was alright. So you had somebody judging it. Not everybody passed you know. There were a few who asked for the MD degree and they were reviewed. The college said, no, as they didn’t think they measured up.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Okay. And the $65.00 fee, what was that for?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   I have no recollection. Obviously there was a little cost in the processing and that sort of thing, but I couldn’t tell you about that.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Are you aware of any legal distinctions in the practices of DOs and MDs that said that DOs could or could not admit patients to certain hospitals, could not interact with MDs. We know that the AMA said that if an MD shared patients with a DO or a person who was what they called cultist, that they would be declared an inactive member and not be allowed to continue as member of the AMA. But we don’t know if that reached to the level of actually being laws or policies at the hospitals that said, “You cannot admit patients here.” Do you know the level of that barrier?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   No, I think I have no information about that. My work with osteopathic hospitals didn’t raise that question at all.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Okay. What aspects of the merger agreement and legislature, all the things that you worked for and got accomplished, as far as I can tell there is only one thing that was overturned. Does that mean that all the rest of the legislation is still valid today?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   Oh yes. I think none of it has been changed except what was changed in that litigation.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Right and that allowed the licensing board to license new DOs.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   Sure.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   The last question is the perplexing issue that when we look at when people graduated, they list 1962. They don’t have any indication that they graduated from COP&S, as if COP&S never existed. For example, Steven P. Teale, the Library in Sacramento has a little file on him. Well, he graduated from the California College of Medicine in 1962 it says. He interned at the L.A. County Osteopathic Hospital back in 1943 or ‘44. You know there is a disconnect there.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   Oh, a little disconnect there, I must admit.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   How is it that they had to or they felt compelled to...the same with Forrest Grunigen, all these 2,000 DOs - you have erased their past essentially - saying they didn’t go to that school, that they went to this school.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   Well, I don’t think it is a question of erasing their past. It is a question...I have no idea. It’s never been asked of me before, but if you’re asked when you got your MD degree, it was going to be 1962. If there is ever any question about, “Did you also have another degree?” Well, they should put the other degree down from where you got it.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Okay, so the question isn’t, “When did you graduate from medical school?” The question is, “When did you get your MD degree,” and they say...
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   It may be the same question.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   I see, so that they’ve established a new identify for themselves in that scenario.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   I don’t think so. They are just telling you when they got their MD degree, ha, ha, ha.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Okay, ha, ha, ha. Is there anything else that comes to mind that you want to discuss?
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   No, but I will be happy to answer any other questions you might have down the line that I might be helpful about.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Well, I appreciate you spending the time with us and sharing your thoughts and impressions. Any documentation you can help us with, we’d appreciate. Thank you very much.
  • Mr. Hufstedler:   Well, from these things you’ve shown me, it reminds me of a lot of wonderful people that I’ve met. Some of them were difficult, but, all-in-all, a lot of wonderful people that I was very fond of.
  • Dr. Seffinger:   Okay, thank you very much.