British Medicine in an Age of Reform

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Routledge, 1991 - Medical - 260 pages
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Between 1780 and 1850 was one of the great turning points in British medicine. Medicine was reformed just as politics was being reformed, and many of the characteristics of modern medicine emerged. British Medicine in an Age of Reform charts the nature and dynamics of the radical changes which occurred in this period.
With the help of the State, medicine became a recognizable profession. At the same time, there was a push from within medicine to base the subject on science and to develop a career structure that did not depend upon social connections but instead worked as a meritocracy. By the end of the 1850s, medicine had become perceptibly 'modern'. It lacked only 'germ theory' which was to follow a few years later.
The details of the Apothecaries' Act, the use of the rhetoric of science for the purpose of medical reform, and the ways in which post-revolutionary French medicine was used as an example in British reforms are documented by the contributors. Other contributions include discussions of forensic medicine as a paradigm of reform, the teaching of chemistry to medical students, and how scientific medicine affected the doctor-patient relationship.
The contributors to British Medicine in an Age of Reform are all recognized experts in their subjects. The book will provide a rich source of information for students of social history, the history of medicine and science, and for those working in the medical profession.

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About the author (1991)

Roger French is Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Clare Hall.

Wear is Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine, University College London and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

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