History of Medicine


During the 17- 18th century western society was served by various healers, tradesmen who sold medications, craftsmen who did surgery and physicians, a very small group educated in UK and European universities.


Apothecaries were tradesmen who originally dispensed and sold drugs. In response to need, gradually took the role of medical practitioner.

Physicians were an elite group of learned men, educated in universities. Practiced among rich & affluent. The physicians did not perform surgery or dispense drugs associate either professionally or socially with the craftsmen and tradesmen who ministered to the medical needs of poorer and rural people.
Surgeons were craftsmen trained by apprenticeship. Surgical training improved and the Royal college of Surgeons had an examination combined with apprentice ship and hospital training to award the MRCS.
Edward Jenner was a country surgeon in England.
In 1815 the Apothecaries Act gave the authority to provide medical advice adn supply drugs. compulsory training with a five year apprenticeship to study anatomy, physiology, medicine etc. lead to the LSA.



By a slow process of response to social demands, surgeons and apothecaries were gradually integrated with physicians to form the modern medical profession. The process took many years to complete.