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cal advantages and better chirurgical means of instruction than Edinburgh ; but it wants the same show of a sanction, though I believe degrees conferred by the different physicians of the hospitals of London, would be equally legal. Such schools, in the present extended scale of colonisation, and martial temper of the empire, are become absolutely requisite."--It appears to me, that the gentleman has done his utmost to decry Edinburgh, as a seminary of learning; but he may rest assured, that any flippant remarks of his, will not produce the effect he evidently aims at; and any observations from a rival university will always be subject to suspicion.
As to the imperfect form of the “ School of Edinburgh,” as he maliciously terms it, it is in such repute, whether imperfect or not, that it is resorted to, in time of peace, by men from all the European nations, from every island in the West Indies, and from every state of North America. The anatomical advantages possessed by Edinburgh are sufficiently great; and the names of Monro and Fyfe,' are more than sufficient to refute any calumnies on this head: I willingly agree in the opinion, that London is as good a school for surgeons as Edinburgh. As to degrees conferred by the physicians to the London hospitals, being equally legal, with those granted at Edinburgh, I believe no man in his senses would venture to practise under the sanction of such a degree. It may be amusing to the medical man, to see an account of some of the lectures in the department of medicine, given at the English universities; then he will be able to judge for himself, how far such a mode of instruction will go, in educating a physician.
The following extracts are taken from the “ Cambridge University Calendar,” for 1805, published by Deighton, Cambridge.
“ Professor Harwood's Lectures," vide p. 37. “ The anatomical lectures are calculated for the purpose of conveying general instruction to the student, and are not confined to any particular profession. The professor delivers annually, a
Doctor Barclay and Doctor Gordon, though not professors in the university, are highly eminent as Lecturers on Anatomy, and are consequently attended by numerous classes.
* Surely the author of the paper in question forgets, that several of the physicians to the London hospitals, and of the medical lecturers, are graduates of Edinburgh; consequently, it is to these men, as well as to others, that students who graduate afterwards at Oxford and Cambridge resort, tó obtain their medical knowledge, and which is not to be obtained at either of those universities. As he does not think the university of Edinburgh competent to grant degrees, why should he think graduates of Edinburgh competent? In what essential, in the constitution of an university, is Edinburgh deficient? He has asserted, it is “ miscalled an university,” but he does not condescend to prove that it is not une.
course of lectures on comparative anatomy and physiology; in which the structure and animal economy of quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and amphibia are investigated; the several organs which constitute the animals of the different classes, compared with each other, and with those of the human body; the most striking analogies pointed out, and remarkable varieties accounted for, from the natural history of the animals belonging to each class. Pathological remarks, on the diseases to which man and other animals are liable, are introduced, with observations on the nature and effects of the medicines usually employed for their removal. The anatomia medico-forensis, together with the effects of various poisons, and also of suspended animation, and the recovery of drowned persons, occupy a share of these lectures.-At the commencement of the course, the blood of various animals is compared with that of the human species : the doctrine of transfusion' is investigated; its probable advantages and defects enquired into, and the practice illustrated by an actual experiment.”
“ Professor Farish's Lectures,” vide page 34. “ The professorship of chemistry was originally an appointment of the university. It received the encouragement of government whilst it was held by the present Bishop of Landaff, which has since been continued to the present professor ; who on his election, found the province of reading lectures on the principles of chemistry already ably occupied by the Jacksonian professor, and was therefore obliged to strike out a new line. The application of chemistry to the arts and manufactures of Britain, presented a new and an useful field of instruction, which however could not be cultivated with effect, without exhibiting whatever else was necessary to the full illustration of the subject. After having taken an actual survey of almost every thing curious in the manufactures of the kingdom, the professor contrived a mode of exhibiting the operations and processes that are in use, in nearly all of them. Having provided himself with a number of brass wheels of all forms and sizes, such, that any two of them can work with each other, the cogs being all equal; and also with a variety of axles, bars, screws, clamps, &c. he constructs at pleasure, with the addition of the peculiar parts, working models of almost every kind of machine. These he puts in motion by a water wheel, or a steam engine, in such a way as to make then in general do the actual work of the real machines, on a small scale ; and he explains at the same time the chemical and philosophical principles, on which the various processes of the arts exhibited depend.--In the course of his lectures, he explains the theory and
! Well done! the doctrine of transfusion in the nineteenth century!!!
practice of mining, and of smelring metallic ores; of bringing them to nature; of converting, purifying, compounding, and separating the metals; and the numerous and various manufactures which depend upon them, as well as the arts which are remotely connected with them, such as etching and engraving. He exbibits the method of obtaining coal and other minerals, the processes by which sulphur, alum, common salt, acids, alkalies, nitre, and other saline substances are obtained, and in which they are used, the mechanical process in the formation of gunpowder, as well as its theory and effects. He shews the arts of procuring and working animal and vegetable substances; the great staple nianufactures of the country, in wool, cotton, linen, silk, together with the various chemical arts of bleaching, of preparing cloth, of printing it, of using adjective and substantive colors, and mordants or intermediates in dyeing. He explains in general, the nature of machinery, the moving powers, such as water-wheels, wind-mills, and particularly the agency of steam, which is the great cause of the modern improvement and extension of manufactures.--He treats likewise on the subjects which relate to the carrying on, or facilitating the commerce of the country, such as inland navigation, the construction of bridges, aqueducts, locks, inclined planes, and other contrivances, by which vessels are raised or lowered from one level to another; of ships, docks, harbors, and naval architecture.On the whole, it is the great design of these lectures, to excite the attention of persons already acquainted with the principles of mathematics, philosophy, and chemistry, to real practice; and by drawing their minds to the consideration of the most useful inventions of ingenious men, in all parts of the kingdom, to enlarge their sphere of amusement and instruction, and to promote the improvement and progress of the arts.”
Professor Farish's lectures are generally allowed to be very instructive, as well as amusing, but they cannot be said to be adapted to the student of medicine.
“ Professor Wollaston's Lectures. “ The subjects for these lectures named by the founder, are experimental philosophy, chemistry, anatomy, materia medica, botany, agriculture. Though the grand object to which he would confine the professor, is the baving exhibitions, as he terms it, experiments or facts in natural history, shewn before the audience. The president of Queen's, the first professor on the foundation, gave alternate courses in experimental philosophy and chemistry, there being then no lectures read by the Plumian professor.— This practice was continued by the present professor, till the appointment of Mr. Vince to the Plumian professorship; since which time, the subject has been chentistry only. Following the steps of his
predecessor, Dr. Milner, the professor introduces, agreeably to the direction of the founder, as many facts as possible, into the course of these lectures, and not less than three hundred experiments have been annually exhibited, either in their processes or results, according as the one or the other was judged to be most interesting or instructive."
As it seems the subjects named for these lectures by the founder, are experimental philosophy, chemistry, anatomy, materia medica, botany, and agriculture, and as the professor has the liberty of choosing any one of these subjects, it may happen that he may choose either agriculture or experimental philosophy, neither of · whịch subjects are included in a medical education. from this calendar, that there are no clinical lectures on the diseases of patients, in the hospital, no lectures on the practice of physic, the theory of physic, materia medica, and pharmacy, medical jurisprydence, or midwifery, on all which subjects there are lectures at Edinburgh. At Oxford, there are the following medical professorships, one Regius professorship of medicine, do. do. of botany, anatomy, a clinical professorship, and one professorship of anatomy, one of medicine, and one of chemistry, the three last, founded in compliance with the will of Dr. Aldrich, in 1803, a physician of the county of Nottingham; these offices are nearly sinecures, as the lectures are very few in number, and scarcely attended by any students,
The writer of the Observations continues, “Such schools, (alluding to Edinburgh,) in the present extended scale of colonisation, and martial temper of the empire, are become absolutely requisite. Were the school of Edinburgh on the footing of the English universities, few would be the laborers going out to harvest. For what highly accomplished physician would depart and sit down to be frozen in Newfoundland, Hudson's Bay, or the Orkneys, or broiled for a pittance in the West Indies, or starved in a little dirty Scotch, Irish, or Welsh Borough, or waste bis health, his vigor, and his talents, amongst the out-casts and convicts of New Holland, &c. &c.”
To this bold and daring flight of the Oxford gentleman, I have to remark, that Edinburgh, as a school of physic, is celebrated throughout the world, and that Oxford and Cambridge, as schools of physic, are celebrated no where, and I most cordially agree with him, that if the school of Edinburgh were on the footing of the English universities, few would be the laborers going out to harvest, either to Newfoundland, Hudson's Bay, the Orknej s, London, Westininster, or any where else, as doubtless the same causes at Edinburgh, would produce the same effects they produce at the English seminaries ; or in other words, a paucity
of medical instruction would produce empty benches, and perhaps one candidate for the degree of doctor of medicine in u year. I no more approve of medical degrees being granted, without study and strict examination, at the same university that confers them, than the Oxford man does. I would propose that an act should be passed to prevent any university conferring a medical degree, except after the candidate has studied a certain appointed time, and passed with approbation, several strict examinations, as to his medical acquirements.
As some few doctors of medicine have combined the business of an apothecary with the practice of a physician, let such be content with the rank and emolument of an apothecary; and when physicians condescend to become surgeons either in the army or navy, they must no doubt lose their rank, for the time, at least: I am as well aware as any one, that there must be a gradation of ranks, and I am equally zealous as the gentleman whose opinions I have been combating, that each individual should keep within the sphere in which he has been educated. He says, page 10, “the rank of the physician is what it is, from the usefulness it has been of to society;" in this we are agreed, but will he venture to assert, that the Edinburgh M. D. is looked upon as a person of less rank and consequence, than a gentleman possessing the same degree,' from either Oxford or Cambridge, except at either of these places, or in Warwick-lane.' Is not an Edinburgh M. D. equally eligible to the situation of physician to their majesties, or to any other members of the royal family? to fill the office of physician to the fleet or army, or to any hospital in London or elsewhere? Is it not equally legal for him to practise in England ? Does he not obtain as large a fee, if equally eminent ? Or, would an Oxford M.D. if attending a patient along with a physician of the university of Edinburgh, venture, in consequence of his pretended rank, to sign his name to a prescription, before the Edinburgh man, if the latter were the older physician ? The truth is, that in the eyes of the world, and by the common courtesy of Europe, they are upon an equality.
In page 14 he says, “it is well known, also, that Scotch doctors
I“ On the first revival of learning in Europe, science was held in the highest estination ; and the three faculties of law, physic, and divinity assumed particular honors and privileges. Academical degrees were conferred on their members; and these titles, with the rank annexed to them, were admitted ubique gentium ; being, like the order of knighthood, of universal validity. Doctors indeed sometimes contended with knights for precedence, and the disputes were not unfrequently terminated by advancing the former to the dignity of knighthood. It was even asserted that a doctor had a right to that title without creation.”
Vide Dr. Robertson's “Proofs and Illustrations” to his History of Charles Vth, pages 389 and 390 and Dr. Percival's “ Notes and Illustrations” to his Medical Ethics, pages 175 and 171.