• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Can the period 1750-1850 be viewed as one of medical reform?

Extracts from this document...


Can the period 1750-1850 be viewed as one of medical reform? Before looking at the events, which occurred during the period 1750-1850 and assessing, whether or not they amount to a period of medical reform it is necessary to define what constitutes reform. Reform is defined as: 'To convert into another and better form, to amend or improve by some change or form of arrangements or composition to free from previous faults or imperfections.'1 Traditionally this time is seen as one of medical reform, uninterrupted progress stimulated by advances in medical education, professional unity and social reform and confirmed by medical legislation. Although there was progress during this period there is controversy as to the extent of change that was actually achieved and to whether the motivations behind the change mean that they can be constituted as genuine reform. The reform, which is said to have taken place during the aforementioned hundred-year period, is attributed to the advances in medical education. By the second half of the eighteenth century medical education was in disarray. Although most physicians did have a medical degree (MD) they could be purchased through the post and those who did gain them legitimately could have received them from one of eighteen different medical corporations which offered varying forms of medical diplomas, licenses and degrees. ...read more.


Despite crippling competition the one thing with general practitioners yearned for more than anything was professional respectability and an institution to represent their views1. Again reform was set in motion. The creation of the National Association of General Practitioners in 1845 was established in the hope that it, and other associations like it which were also been established, would lead to the creation of a College of General Practitioners. An agreement that this college should be established as signed, after five years of setbacks, by all heads of the medical corporations was rejected at the last minute by the Royal College of Surgeons. At the same time they ended any petitions by general practitioners for some years. This is another example of failed reform due to the attitude of the Royal Colleges. Despite blocking of reforms by the Royal College they could not prevent the rise of the general practitioner. The mid nineteenth century is often termed as giving rise to the cult of the family doctor.1 It was at this time that medical practitioners became a family figure and a prominent man in a town or village. General Practitioners looked towards the model of the family doctor which was to become the backbone of British medicine. ...read more.


to be both an ethical and legal watchdog with the power to bring those responsible for malpractice to call. Despite this act appearing to represent reform it mirrored the 1815 Apothecaries Act as critics disowned it as a reform as it essentially confirmed the status quo. The GMC was dominated by the colleges, unlicensed practise continued to be lawful and physicians and surgeons continued to strengthen their positions. Although the act changed things it did not free it from previous faults or imperfection and therefore is not a document of reform. My personal view is that, as is the belief of Loudon the medical reform actually began later than 1750, Wear proposes 1794, and ended later than 1850 with the Medical Act Amendment Act 1886. I also believe that although there was reform in some areas such as education and regulation, the period was more about laying the foundations for future advances than it was reform. The period cannot be seen as pure reform as although there was a determination to improve standards of medical education and care it was inextricably linked with personal ambition and aspirations towards professional, social and financial success and respectability.1 Despite the continuing debate as to whether or not the events of this period constitute reform what is certain is that the period marked, what Wear calls, 'a watershed between a low plateau in the eighteenth century and the beginning of modern medicine. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Behavioural Science section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Behavioural Science essays

  1. Preventative Intervention for Alcohol Abuse among College Students

    The demographics between campus recruitment volunteers and disciplinary referrals differed slightly in a few aspects. Although there was not a high amount of demographic information, the disciplinary referrals did tend to be younger and more likely to be male. Also in the disciplinary referrals, when considering ethnicity, there was a

  2. How does attachment influence the social and emotional development of the child? In your ...

    Goldfarb visited the children four times, at the ages of 3, 6, 8 and 12 years old. He measured their intelligence, language skills, social maturity and ability to form relationships. In all cases the adopted children did much better. This evidence shows that children who had a caregiver from an earlier age did best.


    Processing includes holding, obtaining, recording, using and disclosing of information and the Act applies to all forms of media, including paper and images. It applies to confidential patient information but is far wider in its scope as it covers all staff records".

  2. Clinicians have ethical codes, should scientists have them too?

    Primarily this responsibility is twofold; firstly to ensure that subjects involved in research testing are minimised from harm and secondly that the scientist does not actively seek information, such as genetic weaponry, which may have dire consequences for mankind13,14. As such it seems appropriate to implement a code relating to

  1. the man who mistook his wife for a hat

    She correctly diagnosed herself as having a case of neurosyphilis that had been dormant for about 70 years from when she first contracted it in a brothel that she used to work at. She did not want it cured because she liked her new self however, she did not want

  2. The Vulnerable Population of Alcoholics

    This role consists of meeting the needs of the family while maintaining a normal outlook to anyone looking in. Unfortunately, the caretaker rarely takes the time to care for their own needs because they are constantly taking care of everyone else.

  1. How far did the sick rely on written communications in looking for remedies in ...

    Men were active too, as astrologers, herbalists, empirics, quacks and mountebanks. Mountebanks, and most of the others in this large and diverse group, relied on their oral powers to convince and audience sell their remedies. They also employed written means of communication too, such as bills to advertise their arrival in a town, and certificates of approval from past customers.

  2. Freud and JungThe psychological genre as it relates to sociological and medicinal matters has ...

    For many centuries, students of human nature considered the idea of an unconscious mind as self contradictory. However, it was noticed by philosophers such as St. Augustine, and others, as well as early experimental psychologists, including Gustav Sechner, and Hermann Von Helmholtz, that certain psychological operations could take place without the knowledge of the subject.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work