Charitable Knowledge: Hospital Pupils and Practitioners in Eighteenth-Century London / Edition 1

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Overview

Charitable Knowledge explores the interconnections among medical teaching, medical knowledge and medical authority in eighteenth-century London. The metropolis lacked a university until the nineteenth century, so the seven major voluntary hospitals—St. Bartholomew, St. Thomas, Guy, the Westminster, St. George, the Middlesex, and the London—were crucial sites for educating surgeons, surgeon-apothecaries and visiting physicians. Lawrence explains how charity patients became teaching objects, and how hospitals became medical schools. She demonstrates that hospital practitioners gradually gained authority within an emerging medical community, transforming the old tripartite structure into a loosely unified group of de facto general practitioners dominated by hospital men. Historians of science and medicine will want to read this book.

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert L. Martensen
Based on extensive research of hospital and medical society records in 18th century London, Susan Lawrence explains how charity patients became teaching objects and how hospitals became de facto medical schools. She demonstrates that hospital practitioners gradually gained authority through their clinical teaching, research, and social status in London's urban medical culture, thereby transforming the old tripartite division of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries into a loosely unified group of de facto general practitioners dominated by hospital men. A major purpose of the book is to show the crucial role of hospital-based practitioners in the transformation of the three traditional medical occupations—physician, surgeon, and apothecary—into the modern medical profession before the advent of organic chemistry, systematic microscopy, or anesthesia. The book should interest students of medical philanthropy, medical education, hospitals, professionalization, and English social history. The notes, references, and index are first-rate. Of particular interest to historians are the numerous tables and graphs illustrating the composition of hospital staffs and medical publications in 18th century London. Written clearly and subtly, the book explores many shifting interactions among institutions, ideas, values, and careers. In doing so, it reveals the ways voluntary London hospitals shaped the identities of staff physicians and surgeons whose charitable work consolidated their elite status. For those who wish to know more about the formation of modern medical authority and its relationship to the formation of the modern teaching hospital and medical philanthropy, the book is avaluable resource.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Robert L. Martensen, MD, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: Based on extensive research of hospital and medical society records in 18th century London, Susan Lawrence explains how charity patients became teaching objects and how hospitals became de facto medical schools. She demonstrates that hospital practitioners gradually gained authority through their clinical teaching, research, and social status in London's urban medical culture, thereby transforming the old tripartite division of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries into a loosely unified group of de facto general practitioners dominated by hospital men.
Purpose: A major purpose of the book is to show the crucial role of hospital-based practitioners in the transformation of the three traditional medical occupations — physician, surgeon, and apothecary — into the modern medical profession before the advent of organic chemistry, systematic microscopy, or anesthesia.
Audience: The book should interest students of medical philanthropy, medical education, hospitals, professionalization, and English social history.
Features: The notes, references, and index are first-rate. Of particular interest to historians are the numerous tables and graphs illustrating the composition of hospital staffs and medical publications in 18th century London.
Assessment: Written clearly and subtly, the book explores many shifting interactions among institutions, ideas, values, and careers. In doing so, it reveals the ways voluntary London hospitals shaped the identities of staff physicians and surgeons whose charitable work consolidated their elite status. For those who wish to know more about the formation of modern medical authority and its relationship to the formation of the modern teaching hospital and medical philanthropy, the book is a valuable resource.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521525183
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/27/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine Series
  • Edition description: First Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

List of tables and figures; Preface; 1. Introduction: hospital medicine in eighteenth-century London; Part I. Institutions and Education: 2. The London hospitals: virtue and value; 3. The corporations, licensing and reform, 1700-1815; 4. Walking the wards: from apprentices to pupils; 5. London lecturing: public knowledge and private courses; Part II. Community and Knowledge: 6. Gentlemen scholars and clinical cases, 1700-1760; 7. London hospital men and a medical community, 1760-1815; 8. Hospital men make medical knowledge, 1760-1815; Conclusion; Appendices; Notes; Index.

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