By William G. Rothstein

During this broadly researched background of scientific colleges, William Rothstein, a number one historian of yankee drugs, strains the formation of the scientific university from its foundation as a resource of clinical lectures to its present prestige as a middle of undergraduate and graduate scientific schooling, biomedical learn, and really good sufferer care. utilizing quite a few old and sociological concepts, Rothstein effectively describes tools of clinical schooling from one new release of medical professionals to the following, illustrating the altering profession paths in drugs. while, this learn considers clinical colleges in the context of the nation of scientific perform, associations of remedy, and basic larger schooling. the main entire and thorough basic background of clinical schooling within the usa ever written, this paintings focuses either at the old improvement of scientific faculties and their present prestige.

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59 The Administration of Medical Schools All medical schools before the Civil War were jointly owned and operated as commercial ventures by four to seven faculty members. Each faculty member took an active interest in the joint enterprise. The faculty of a medical school consisted of the professors, a demonstrator of anatomy, and sometimes one or two clinical professors. The professors taught the lecture courses and the demonstrator of anatomy ran the dissection laboratory. The clinical professor, who was employed only if there was a local hospital, was on the hospital staff and gave the students clinical instruction there.

26 The self-supporting members of the laboring classes who fell ill comprised a third group of potential patients. Sickness deprived them of their earnings and thus of proper food, fuel, and often shelter. Sickness could lead to death or long-term or permanent disability, with consequent economic hardship to the family as well as a financial burden on the community. 27 When voluntary hospitals opened in Philadelphia (the Pennsylvania Hospital), New York (the New York Hospital), and Boston (the Massachusetts General Hospital), they fell far short of their goals.

41 A larger group of American physicians were trained as apprentices to other physicians. One study of almost 1,600 Massachusetts physicians from 1630 to 1800 found that about one-third had at least one year's apprenticeship training, compared to a few that were European trained and the majority who had no formal training of at least a year's duration. 42 The great majority of physicians had no formal training and probably entered medicine from other occupations. They may have sold drugs, "cured" or nursed some sick individual back to health and thus established a reputation as a healer, or performed simple surgical procedures like extracting teeth or lancing boils.

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