Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Is there a Doctor in the house?






I was born in the Homeopathic Hospital of Montreal When I was a teenager I had no clue what that meant, just that is sounded cool! Homeopathic! My friends were born at the General Hospital.  I was born at the Homeopathic Hospital! It was a respected training hospital, was later renamed the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and closed on 1996. Homeopathic remedies were natural, not chemical.



You may remember in my article titled “Heigh-ho,heigh-ho” I talked about discovering that my ancestor John Tait was a fermorer or infirmerer, and since then I found in the Register of Apprentices that he was apprenticed to a surgeon in Edinburgh in 1677.

Tait - John, son to John T gardener, 'prentice to James Hopkirk chirurgiane

I wonder what kind of training he would have had in 1677?  How much about medicine and surgery did they know and understand? This is what I found at the University of Glasgow:
“…the training of surgeons was conducted through a system of apprenticeship, lasting on average between 3-5 years. The apprentice pledged his services and paid an agreed fee to his master who in return was bound to teach him his trade. The surgical apprentice learned his craft by visiting patients with his master i.e. through observation and asking questions. In due course he would have been expected to acquire knowledge of materia medica, pharmacy and the ability to perform small surgical operations - this may have been undertaken through formal University based teaching but could equally have been undertaken just by reading and observation. The system was regulated by guilds or faculties such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, which would examine apprentices during different stages of their training. Requirements were set out by individual institutions and therefore varied throughout Scotland and elsewhere in the UK until the requirement for a medical degree or licence to practice was formalised by Act of Parliament in 1858. Therefore, it was common for medical students to take classes at the University (or any other medical school) paying a fee directly to the professor and so leaving no written record behind.”
I would not make a good doctor because I am too emotional and I would be crying all the time.  I have so much respect for those who go through the years of training and then take people’s lives in their hands. There are links below listing some of these fine physicians, and you can also search at archive.org:  roll of college of physicians, biographical sketches of certain physicians, especially those that practiced in the field of a war. Some of the directories also give a list of fees.



Relevant Links:


Graduates up to 1913 and Roll of Honour - University of Glasgow

University of Edinburgh Alumni search from 1597

New Orleans Medical news and Hospital Gazette - "Treatment of Apparently Drowned"

Montreal Homeopathic Hospital

Homeopathy in Canada

The Medical Profession in Upper Canada 1783-1850 (+Biographies)

Culpepper's English Physician; and complete herbal 1789

Glossary of Medical Terms used in 18th-19th Centuries

Disease names frequently found on death certificates

Official register of legally qualified physicians - Illinois 1898

Civil War Journal of acting assistant surgeon Ezra Pray

Homeopathic domestic physicians 1870 

Physicians', dentists' and druggists' directory of the New England States 1892

The Medical and Surgical Directory of Cook County Illinois 1888-89

Official Register of legally qualified physicians and midwives Illinois 1886

The Published Ontario Medical Register 1878 (+others)

Connecticut Register: public officers and institutions(+ physicians) 1854 (+others)

Medical and Surgical Register of the United States 1890

Vaccination Register - Glasgow 1801 (Vol 1 of 10)

The Alberta Medical Register 1911 

Medical and Dental Red Book of Cleveland and vicinity 1899

The London Medical Register for the year 1779

The London and Provincial Medical Directory, incl Scotland & Ireland 1861

Register of Doctors of Philosophy of University of Chicago 1803-1921

Catalogue of Physicians and surgeons California 1883

The Cottage Physician for individual and family use 1898 USA

1885 Catalogue of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow in 6 Vols

The New London Medical and Surgical Dictionary 1826

The early days of the Royall Colledge of Phisitians, Edinburgh 1899

Medical women; a thesis and a history 1886

Sources of Information about Pioneer Doctors- Australia

Surgeons at Sea - UK

The Ship-surgeon's Handbook - London 1911

New Zealand's first Woman Physician 1897

Medical Directory of Ireland 1863

Les secrets et merueilles de nature, recueillis de diuers autheurs& diuisez en XVII. Liures (translated from Latin) – 1586

Yearbook of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, MD 1914

Medical Examiners - The Federal Life Insurance, Hamilton, Ont - 1896

Medical Directory of New York - 1887

Medical Register of Nova Scotia 1911

List of Medical Practitioners: Connecticut 1896-1893

The Dublin Hospital Gazette

The Australasian Medical Gazette


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