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Sven Med Tidskr. 2007;11(1):69-87.

[From barber to surgeon- the process of professionalization].

[Article in Swedish]

Author information

1
lars.himmelmann@swipnet.se

Abstract

This paper concerns some steps in the process of professionalization of surgery from handicraft to surgery as a science. The paper is based o two studies. The first emanates from the phases in the process including the development of a professional and proficiency monopoly, a professional organization, ethics principles, a professional language and an official recognition of surgery as a profession. The second study concerns the training of army surgeons in the 18th century. From the 16th century, the Barber office had, as a craft guild system, the control over the training of barbers and the establishment of barber's shops. In 1689 the barber-surgeons guild got an exclusive right to examine barber-surgeons and in 1755 the control of all surgeons in the country. The guild developed their own ethics and office oaths. The quality of the training increased to a higher level with the establishment of professorships outside the universities with the task to train barber-surgeons was made. The craft organization, which from the end of the 17th.century was called the Society of Surgeons, received several instructions from the King. Among the most important was the task to provide the Army and Navy with surgeons. This meant for the Society of Surgeons and its members that they got an official recognition. To become a profession, the surgeons still lacked an academic training, which was realized in the 19th.century after the dissolution of the Society of Surgeons in 1797. The second study is an investigation of the training of regimental surgeons in West-Sweden during the 18th.century. The object of this study was to find out if these surgeons had fulfilled the training requirements, which were set up by the Society of Surgeons. Out of 37 regimental surgeons 33 had passed the examination for the master craftsman's diploma. The four regimental barbers, who lacked the formal examination, were all appointed before 1723. Almost half of the regimental surgeons came from Germany. The surgeons were in average 31 years old when they passed examination. Two of the surgeons appointed late in the 18th. century had also a medical doctors degree. The examination requirements increased gradually during the century alongside with the increased knowledge in surgical science. The improved training was an important part of the barber-surgeons professionalization.

PMID:
18548946
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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