« AnteriorContinuar »
often become surgeons in the army and navy.' Now no such instance was ever known of an Oxford or Cambridge doctor, and indeed it would be a degradation, as the English universities in their doctorate give a rank above colonels in the army, or captains of ships.” I am ready to admit, that Scotch doctors sometimes do become surgeons in the army and navy, at the commencement of their medical career, and doing so, must, as I have before observed, be content with the rank of surgeon for the time. But the armiy
navy are good schools for the attainment of medical experience, and the author of the “ Observations" will not deny, that many who have thus set out, have afterwards attained to the highest eminence in their profession. As to there having been no such instance ever known, of an Oxford or Cambridge physician having entered the army or navy as surgeon, I really am not prepared to say ; but if there is one physician, of either of the English universities, now occupying such a situation, it is as great a proportion for either of them, as sixty would be for Edinburgh. Though I do not recollect any M. D. of either of the English seminaries at present, acting as surgeon in the navy or army, I do happen to know that there is a M.D. of an English university, now practising as physician and surgeon in England, and I believe the gentleman will not find sixty doctors of medicine of Edinburgh similarly occupied.-- This stickler for rank proceeds to say, (and it is all he can say in favor of Oxford and Cambridge, as medical schools, even supposing it to be granted, that the English degree is higher in rank than the Scotch degree,)“ a physician, however, is not necessarily a doctor. The English universities may grant licenses to practise, to masters of arts. Gentlemen who practise on such licenses, are physicians, and their rank is the same as that of barristers and clergymen, that is, they rank as esquires. But in order to give dignity to so learned and useful a profession, the English universities grant the rank of doctor to those of mature age, not to beardless youths or striplings, and, this rank elevates the individual above all esquires not honorable, and above all field-officers, not generals or admirals.” I am not prepared to assert, that the English universities do not confer this rank, but I may observe, as to the estimation in which these
1 The late Sir Busick Harwood, M. D., professor of anatomy at Cambridge, was many years a surgeon in the royal navy.
2 This rhapsody, about the laughing-stock of the profession, the pretended superior rank of the English degree of M. D. is only worthy of a valet de chambre, a lady's maid, a master of the ceremonies, or some such consequential personage: a rank too, not generally acknowledged in the profession.
Is it not to be lamented that the English seminaries do not educate men sufficiently well, to enable them to oblain this high rank, without the aid of the London lecturers ?
degrees are held, that the physicians to the crowned heads on the continent, who have been British subjects, have all, or nearly all, been medical graduates of Edinburgh, and that when the present Emperor of Russia founded the imperial university of Wilna, in Lithuania, it was to Edinburgh, and not to Oxford or Cambridge, that he sent to invite physicians, to fill the chairs of the professorships of medicine ; and Baron Dimsdale, who was chosen to inoculate the late Einpress Catharine of Russia, was certainly neither of Oxford nor Cambridge.'
I shall now conclude my remarks, by inserting this gentleman's proposed regulations so far as they regard physicians, and giving my own opinion upon them.
« Let the college of physicians sit as a quorum, in every part of England, where three fellows can be assembled, to grant licences. Let these licences be granted without expense. Let none but English graduates practise without these licences. If three fellow's cannot be assembled monthly, iu each county, to examine and to grant licences, let one fellow and two M. Ds. of Oxford or Cambridge be a quorum: north of the Tweed, and for the colonies, let Edinburgh and Glasgow grant licences to practise. Aberdeenand St. Andrews will do well enongh for granting distinctions to the Solomons, Brodums, &c. but let not their degrees be a sanction or a licence, even for Scots or colonial practice, unless they reform.”
This regulation would goimmediately to make the power of the college of Physicians of London, co-extensive with England, Wales, and town of Berwick-upon-Tweed : but I would ipforun the gentleman, that this charter, in all human probability, will never extend one jot further than it does at present, and that parliament will not legislate upon a medical subject, in direct opposition to the opinion of an immense majority of the physicians in the kingdom. Besides, the plan itself is totally impracticable, as neither three fellows of the College of Physicians, nor even three M. D.s of Oxford or Cambridge, are to be found in any county in England, except Middlesex, Surrey, Oxford, and Cambridge. As to St. Andrews and Aberdeen, it would greatly conduce to uphold the dignity of the profession, if they would come to the resolution not to grant
The author does not condescend to tell us, how the English seminaries became possessed of the right of conferring this rank, whether by charter from the crown, or act of parliament; however, custom, which in such af. fairs is nearly equivalent to an act of parliament, inakes no distinction betwcen a physician of Oxford, Cambridge, or Edinburgh; but the profession of medicine in general, consider Edinburgh as the first medical university in the world, whilst Oxford and Cambridge, as schools of inedicine, can scarcely be said to exist.
degrees to any, except their own students. The medical department of the university of Edinburgh consists of the following professorships.
1. Professorship of Anatomy.
Practice of Physic...
Theory of Physic.
1. Professorship of Clinical Surgery. There are large dissecting rooms in the college, well attended by the students, where anatomical demonstrations are regularly given. And private lecturers have dissecting rooms in different parts of the city.
The university possesses a very fine library;' the original collection of books was presented in 1580, by Clement Little, Esquire, Advocate ; it enjoys, like the libraries of the other universities, and some other institutions in the empire, the right to a copy of
every book entered in Stationers' Hall.
The lectures on anatomy, practice of physic, chemistry, materia medica, theory of physic, and midwifery, commence at the latter end of October, and terminate about the 30th of April in the ensuing year, in the course of which time, between one hundred and forty and one hundred and fifty lectures are delivered, of an hour each, by each of the professors of these subjects : the clinical professor begins his first course a little later, he delivers two courses in the winter, and one in the summer session; the professor of midwifery also delivers two courses in this session, and one in the summer session, which commences on the first of May, and terminates about the last day of July; the regius professor of botany begins his course about the first of May, and terminates about the time above-mentioned, at the botanical garden belonging to the university.” There is only one vacation, from the latter end of July to the latter
This library was kept for a short time in a building erected for that purpose, by the town council, until the apartment destined to receive it in the university was finished, the erection of which was shortly after commenced.
2 The regius professor of medical jurisprudence also, delivers his course during the summer session. NO. XXVI. Pam.. VOL. XIII.
end of October. Attached to, and in the immediate vicinity of the university, are a very large infirmary, of royal foundation, and a midwifery-hospital, at the former the medical students attend from twelve to one o'clock every day in the week, Sundays not excepted, to see the practice of the clinical professor, as well as that of the other physicians and surgeons of the institution, the gentlemen more immediately attending the clinical professor, attend at other times also, to copy the history of the diseases of the patients before they are admitted into the infirmary, and the reports and prescriptions of the physician afterwards. At the midwifery-hospital, poor women are admitted gratis, and the students attending the midwifery class, upon paying a small fee, in addition to the one paid to the professor, are practically taught this most useful art. Also attached to the university, are the royal medical and royal physical societies, founded by his present majesty ; these consist chiefly of medical students : each society meets once a week, during the winter session, when two papers on medical or philosophical subjects are read and discussed : each society possesses an excellent library, and some philosophical apparatus.
The reader will recollect, that it is only against Oxford and Cambridge, as schools of medicine, that I have advanced any thing in the preceding pages. The former as a seminary for classical erudition, and the latter for mathematical science, most justly, enjoy a high reputation, and I respect and venerate them as the learned the magnificent institutions of our ancestors; and can most cordially say to each of them
“ Esto perpetua."
The “ Act for better regulating the practice of apothecaries throughout England and Wales," passed in 1815, contains clauses, amongst others, under the following heads.
“ Penalty on apothecaries refusing to compound, or unfaithfully compounding medicines prescribed."
“ Persons not to practise as apothecaries, &c. without due examination.”
“ Assistants to apothecaries, &c. to be examined.”
“ Power for master and wardens to appoint five apothecaries as examiners for assistants.”
“ Penalty for acting without a certificate."
By reference to these clauses, it will be seen, that the society or company of apothecaries of London, have the power, either by
themselves or deputies, of examining all persons who have commenced practice as apothecaries, or assistants to apothecaries, since the first of August, 1815, in any part of England and Wales, and all persons intending to practise as apothecaries or assistants to apothecaries, within the above-mentioned parts of the United Kingdom, are required by this act to subject themselves to such examination, under certain penalties.
As this act is co-extensive with England and Wales, the clause under the following head, is rendered nearly nugatory,“ Penalty on apothecaries refusing to compound, or unfaithfully compounding medicines prescribed.” As the penalty attaches only to apothecaries or their assistants, refusing to compound, or unfaithfully, negligently, falsely, fraudulently making, mixing, or compounding any medicines, as directed by any prescription, &c. of any physician lawfully licensed to practise physic, by the president and commonalty of the faculty of physic, or by either of the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge: for the number of medical graduates of the English universities, and also of licentiates of the royal college is so very small, compared to the number of physicians, who are not graduates of either Oxford or Cambridge, or members of the college, that apothecaries, and their assistants, by this clause (said to have been inserted at the express command of the college of physicians, and under au understanding, that the royal college would oppose the act, in its progress through parliament, with the whole of their authority and influence, if the company of apothecaries refused its insertion) are almost entirely prevented from transgressing; as not one prescription in ten, is written by either a fellow or licentiate of the college of physicians. So much for the positive enact. ment of this clause, and negatively, it incapacitates any physician, not of Oxford or Cambridge, or not licensed by the college of physicians, from prosecuting to conviction, any apothecary or his assistant, offending in the manner above specified; consequently, it leaves apothecaries and their assistants at perfect liberty to compound the prescriptions of physicians, who have been educated at actual schools of medicine, but who are not members of the college of physicians, fraudulently or negligently, without fear of punishment. This is indeed carrying illiberality and injustice as far as they can be carried, for it is well known, that a doctor of physic, being a British subject, of any university in Scotland, of that in Ireland, or in any kingdom or country upon the Continent, has an equal right to practise physic in England, except in London, or seven miles round it, as physicians of Oxford and Cambridge, or members of the college of physicians have. If this illiberal clause is meant as an inducement to Englishmen to graduate at Oxford and Cambridge, it will, like others that have preceded it, fail of