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are necessarily much connected with each other, but they all act separately. They are responsible only to themselves and to the slow operation of public opinion; and we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the interests of the corporations are not always identical with those of the public. We have already shown the ill consequences of the bye-laws passed by the fellows of the College of Physicians in their anxiety to maintain the aristocracy of the Oxford and Cambridge graduates. The College of Surgeons formerly (and we give them credit for the public spirit which they displayed on that occasion) undertook the charge of the splendid museum which Parliament had purchased of the executors of Mr. John Hunter. They have made extensive additions to it. They have erected buildings for its reception, and established a professorship and studentship of comparative anatomy in connexion with it. They have collected one of the best medical libraries in the world, and thrown it open to the profession. All this has necessarily involved them in a large annual expenditure, and the funds which they have to meet it are almost entirely derived from the fees paid by those who receive their diploma. The remuneration of the court of examiners is supplied from the same source. If in addition to all this we take into the account that it is in the nature of corporations, as it is in that of individuals, to like the acquirement of wealth, we cannot fail to perceive that the College have a direct interest in having as many applicants for their diploma as possible. But this is not what is wanted by the public. As we have already remarked, they derive no advantage from an influx of persons into the profession beyond what is wanted to ensure a proper degree of competition ; but it is to them of the highest importance that those who are admitted should have their minds as well stored and as well disciplined as possible. The position of the Society of Apothecaries is very similar to that of the College of Surgeons, except that both their income and their expenses are on a smaller scale.
But we are far from agreeing with those who would have all the old corporations swept away, and replaced by a new one. We believe that the former-the faults of which we know—may be improved; and that to attempt this will be a much safer experiment than to establish a new institution, the faults of which
may not be well understood for many years.
But indeed the latter experiment is already begun in the shape of the medical department of the metropolitan university. In this new institution the faults of its predecesso
sors seem to have been rather exaggerated than otherwise. As far as we can perceive, it is responsible only to itself; and it will be remarkable if, eventually,
it does not look to its own interests more than to those of the community. The degree of bachelor of medicine is said to be intended for the class of general practitioners.* Those who wish to obtain this distinction are allowed to matriculate and begin their profession while they are yet boys, at the age of sixteen years, and to present themselves for their last examination so as to be esteemed practitioners as soon as they have passed their twenty-first birthday. Fourteen different kinds of lectures are included in the curriculum, being five more than those which are required by the College of Surgeons and Society of Apothecaries: while the attendance on hospital practice, which we believe to be of more importance than all the lectures put together, is actually less. The whole system, as it appears to us, is unnecessarily complicated. Yet we must acknowledge that it affords evidence of good intentions on the part of those who framed it. They seem to have been really anxious to place the medical profession on as high ground as possible: but they have not had that experience in hospitals and schools, nor that intercourse with students, which they should have had, to enable them to understand the true principles of medical education.
We conclude that it was the failure of the metropolitan university which led Mr. Warburton, at the close of the last session of parliament, to lay on the table of the House of Commons his Bill for the Registration of Medical Practitioners. Under the provisions of this Bill every medical practitioner is required to cause his name to be registered annually in an office established for the purpose; and for the privilege of being compelled to take this trouble he is to pay an annual tax. Then the whole body of licensed practitioners are to proceed at stated periods to the election of three medical parliaments, one for each of the three kingdoms. These parliaments are to assemble in each month of October, one in London, another in Edinburgh, and the third in Dublin; and it is to be their office to regulate all the affairs of the medical profession. Between them they are to elect another superior parliament for the whole empire, which is to hold its meetings in London, and by which they themselves are to be governed. It must be almost unnecessary to point out the classes of persons of whom we may expect these parliaments to consist: we must not look among them for those who love the tranquil pursuit of science--who pass their days and nights in accumulating knowledge for future use ; nor for those who by their labours have already earned the good opinion of the public, and are fully occupied in the exercise of their professional duties; but rather for the vain and the idle
* See the Report on Medical Reform in the Transactions of the Provincial Medical Association,' vol. viii. p. 41.
for those who hanker after a noisy notoriety, and have abundance of leisure because they have no professional employment. It is a matter of course that such elections, like all other elections in this country, must eventually merge in politics; in the competition of Whigs and Tories, Conservatives and Radicals. The best thing that can be said of this scheme is, that it is utterly impracticable ; and with this impression on our minds, it appears to us needless to follow it through its various ramifications.
If the medical profession as a body possessed estates and charities, or as individuals had some special powers and privileges which required protection, it would be reasonable to consider how far a system of popular and representative government might be made applicable to it. But no such occasion exists, and we own that we are not sufficiently far-sighted to discover what good reason there can be for introducing into it such an element of agitation and discord.
We have already shown that what is wanted is simply this : that the medical profession should be rendered as useful as possible to society, and that it should be enabled to maintain for itself an honourable and respectable station in it; and we are much mistaken if we have not also shown that the machinery of the medical corporations, such as they now are, is not sufficient to produce the desired result. That these corporations should have no responsibility, except to themselves, is an anomaly which ought not to be allowed any longer to exist; and we cannot conceive to whom they can so properly be made responsible as to those from whom their authority has emanated, the Crown and the Legislature. Nor would there be any difficulty in carrying such a plan into effect, nor would any complicated apparatus be necessary for the purpose.
Let us suppose that an act of parliament were passed making soine such alterations as we have already suggested in the charters of the colleges, and in the apothecaries' act of 1815, and any others which on further consideration of the subject inight be found to be desirable; and that the government were authorised to appoint certain persons who should form a Board of Control, or, if they please to give them a gentler appellation, a Board of Visitors, whose office it should be to superintend the concerns of the different medical institutions; and we believe that under such an arrangement all that is required might be accomplished.
The regulations as to the education of medical students, and the licensing of practitioners, should either originate with the Board of Visitors, or should not be valid until they had received their sanction. In like manner they should superintend the appointment of the examiners. Reports should be made to them
at stated periods of the individuals to whom licences have been granted; of the moneys received in payment of them; at the same time explaining in what manner these funds have been expended.
At present, when a vacancy has occurred in the Council of the College of Surgeons, the remaining inembers select the individual who is to suceed to the vacant seat; and this has always, and not without reason, been made a subject of complaint against the constitution of the College. Yet, as matters now stand, we do not see what other arrangement can be made. To throw the election open to the ten or twelve thousand members of whom the College consists would be absurd ; and there is no other constituency. If, as we have proposed, another degree were established for those who would be candidates for the situation of surgeons to hospitals or teachers of anatomy, there would, in the course of time, be a body of persons to whom the election might, without inconvenience, be intrusted ; and in the mean while the objections to the present system might be in a great measure obviated by making the appointments of the Council subject to the approbation of the Board of Visitors; or the visitors might select one from a list of persons submitted to them as properly qualified by the council.
What are called the Elects in the College of Physicians are, with respect to the mode of their appointment, in the same situation as the Council of the College of Surgeons; and the same rule might be applied to them, or otherwise the election of them might be conducted in the same manner as that of the Censors.
But a question will arise as to the exact mode of appointing the Visitors themselves. We would suggest that they should be nominated by the Queen in Council rather than by the Secretary of State, believing that the effect of this would be to remove the appointment, in some degree, from the influence of party politics; and we would further suggest that the Board should consist of two classes of persons, of some who do, and of others who do not, belong to the medical profession.
Being assured that some of the highest interests of society are involved in the state of the medical profession, and knowing that the reflecting members of the profession are not well satisfied with the existing order of things, we confidently hope that those who concern themselves in the management of public affairs will perceive the necessity of giving the subject their early and serious attention; and in that case it will be by no means difficult for any one, who takes the pains to do so, to fill up the faint outline of the scheme which we have offered to their consideration. We cannot doubt that, if the task of mending the medical institutions be honestly undertaken and pursued, a real and lasting service will be rendered to the public. We are sanguine enough to believe that what is required may be easily accomplished; that the question, if fairly discussed, with a desire to do only what is right and useful, will be found to lie in a narrow compass, and to be surrounded by no difficulties which may not be readily surmounted.
We bave only one further observation to offer. In order that we might render our views as simple as possible, we have confined ourselves to the state of the medical profession and of the corporate bodies in England, to which alone the report of the Committee of the House of Commons relates. There is, however, no such essential difference in the state of the profession in different parts of the British empire as would prevent any plan which is useful in England from being also applicable, with certain modifications, to Scotland and Ireland.
Art. III.-Letters of the Earl of Dudley to the Bishop of
Llandaff London. 8vo. 1840. THE announcement of this volume naturally excited great curi
osity. It was reasonable to expect that those subjects which most come home to the habits and studies of English gentlemen would be admirably handled in the private communications between two such distinguished men, whose respective spheres in life, in themselves sufficiently separate, were nevertheless connected by one link, a common love and pursuit of elegant literature. The sound of the two voices, the tenor and the bass, might indeed be totally distinct, yet both, when attuned to the same key, would give increased value to each other, and produce by the very contrast a richer and more varied melody. Thus the man of the world would enlighten the recluse of Alma Mater ; his ideas, bright with the last polish of the capital, would rub off the respectable erugo which steals over the learning of the cloister, and the reflections of the statesman engrossed in the affairs of nations would enlarge the somewhat narrowing tendencies of local attachments and interests.
The venerated editor commenced his honourable career in directing the final education of young men, at the most critical moment of their entering into life. After long exercise of this responsible charge, he was raised by acclamation to the high office of Provost of Oriel; and was thus enabled to take the lead in that university of which at the moment of need he had stood forward the champion and successful defender. The mitre, the reward of a long