Pathways and practice : the general practitioner in nineteenth-century Dundee
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Although the care of the basic medical needs of much of the population, or what might be termed general medicine, accounted by the mid nineteenth century for the work of the majority of medical men in Britain, those who practiced within this field were an irregular group of practitioners who had evolved from the surgeon- apothecaries and man midwives of the eighteenth century, and who formed an unspecific mix of medical men with different qualifications, training and experiences. Increasing legislation forced the radical development of the medical profession by the end of the century and, in a changing climate of education and opportunity, medical men competed for professional survival. This they did through the cultivation and exploitation of ‘community niches’ to gain professional recognition (Digby, 1999, p. 261). The medical establishment in mid-nineteenth-century Dundee was made up of a diverse group of practitioners, in terms of education, qualification and experience, much of which still reflected the pathways and practices of the late eighteenth century. Dominated by leading medical families and intricate social networks, the medical community increasingly established itself in a distinct quarter within the city, and entrenched itself in the wider community through public appointments and civic office. This paper will explore the landscape of medical practice in this local ‘niche’, examining the ways in which the resident medical men created themselves both as individual practitioners with status and influence – the newly emerging ‘general practitioners’ – and as a distinct and respected professional community.
Campbell , M A 2018 , ' Pathways and practice : the general practitioner in nineteenth-century Dundee ' eSharp , vol. 26 , pp. 1-13 .
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