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How the profession evolved

So where did your business come from? In her new book, Suzie Grogan traces the development of surgeon-apothecaries in the remarkable century of change between 1750-1850. This month: the structure of the medical profession.

How the profession evolvedIn the 18th and early 19th centuries, the medical profession was beginning to develop a level of professional feeling that was to lead to a drive for greater status and reform of the structure of medical training.

The way a medical man saw his career at the beginning of the 19th century was markedly different to the attitudes that existed 100 years earlier.

Apothecaries had once been viewed as mere tradesmen; their manufacture and dispensing of medicines something that operated from a shop or warehouse rather than a surgery.

But by the early 19th century, they had become recognised as doctors in their own right, rather than simply a servant of the university-trained physician.

The occupation of ‘barber-surgeon’ disappeared mid-century when the barbers and surgeons parted company and set up individual guilds. No longer was the man who cut your hair also allowed to take your leg off….

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Suzie Grogan

Suzie Grogan

Adapted from ‘Death Disease & Dissection – the life of a surgeon apothecary 1750-1850‘, by Suzie Grogan. Pen & Sword Books Ltd, ISBN 1473823536, Price £12.99

 

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