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When did the formal study of medicine begin? When did practicing medicine require a lisence?

Doing research for an essay and need to know the origins of how a doctor becomes a doctor.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. crumblet says:

    Formal study? I’m not sure the precise time but I do know that the ancient Greeks “studied” medicine as a specific profession, rather than it being a side profession or something that was just picked up. Someone wishing to become a doctor in ancient Greece would have had to approach someone who was already a physician, or normally their father would do it, and they’d be given an apprenticeship. Granted it’s not “formal” in a classroom sense, but the student did study with a practicing physician during the physician’s rounds with his patients (that’s where the practice of internships comes from I believe). Before the Greeks, and probably after in various places after the Greeks, anyone could claim to be a doctor with no training what-so-ever.Licensing would probably be a later addition to the profession. I’d guess somewhere between 1600 and 1800, though I haven’t got a clue when exactly.Good luck!

  2. scoptically says:

    Hippocrates lectured under a sycamore tree on the island of Cos in the Aegean Sea. Both before and after that, students apprenticed themselves to a medical practitioner, who then gave them a certificate acknowledging their service.In the western world, the University of Bologna is among the oldest, beginning in the 11th century. By the 14th century its medical faculty was well-established. Medical education in the US was a hit or miss affair until the Flexner Report in 1910, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation. While there were a few excellent medical schools, there were many more inferior ones. It had many ramifications including the closure of many proprietary (non-university affiliated) medical schools, and led state licensing boards to make their standards more rigid. I assume the requirement of a license varied from country to country and state to state. The purpose of state licensures is to ascertain that the applicant has satisfactorily completed his or her education in a satisfactory manner and is expected to adhere to ethical standards and the laws of the particular state. Application and renewal are time-consuming processess, mainly because unethical and fraudulent practitioners are becoming more sophisticated.