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disease, which was, therefore, some thirty or forty times as rife among them as among the ordinary population. Many British towns, receiving afflicted Irishmen with typhus upon them, suffered fearfully in 1847; and the labours of the Edinburgh physicians especially are worthy of record. The infirmary, overcrowded with twenty times its usual number of cases, was a huge focus of contagion, to serve in which was certain infection to doctor or nurse. Low garrets had to receive patients, in which it was necessary to kneel in order to examine the pulse or tongue. Of 22 resident physicians, 12 took the fever; of 9 attending physicians, 6 had previously the disease, and the 3 remaining now contracted it. Four of these officers were lost-a heavy tribute of the medical profession to the carelessness of the community in not providing for the approach of epidemics. Such forgetfulness of personal danger may not equal the brilliancy of military heroism, but surpasses it in usefulness, and should meet with adequate recognition.
For special services under fever and cholera epidemics, the rate of pay to physicians who are sent to treat the victims rarely exceeds half-a-guinea a-day. When the Reform Bill passes, several young barristers will be sent through the country to arrange boundaries or revise registries, and the payment will probably be ten times as much. Many examples might be adduced of the want of generosity of governments to medical men. The Grenville administration never deigned an answer to William Hunter's proposal to spend £7,000 in building a school of medicine, to endow professorships, and bestow his museum, which had cost him £100,000, if granted some crown lands out of which no profit was derived. The succeeding ministry higgled disgracefully about the sum to be paid for John Hunter's museum, containing over 10,000 preparations, the greatest monument of science and industry which man has ever left behind him. They got the bargain at £15,000, Hunter
STATISTICS OF THE PROFESSION.
having in mere materials expended £70,000. It was entrusted to the College of Surgeons without stipend, although £2,000 a-year must be expended in its maintenance. So great a means of national education should be supported and increased out of public funds. A small sum during life and a statue in Trafalgar-square were the rewards to Jenner, who saved many millions of lives; but as one of the Napier's was to be glorified for the slaying of nearly as many, Jenner's statue was shunted to some obscure site.
If additional evidence was needed to urge the vast importance of the profession of medicine, and the due estimate which the legislature and the public should take of it, such would be afforded in the fact that it is the largest community of educated persons in the United Kingdom. Including all civil practitioners and those engaged in the service of the State, the profession is generally believed to number not far from 20,000. In the colonies there are also some thousands of British practitioners. In Great Britain and Ireland the following analysis of the names in the “ Medical Directories” for England, Ireland, and Scotland for 1859, shows the distribution of such of these gentlemen as were engaged in civil practice, and the nature of their qualifications at the passing of the Medical Act. Medical men in London
2,531. Do. with foreign degrees
22. Persons who have refused to return any qualifications, 44.
(Of whom many are believed to be unqualified.) Medical men in the provinces, including Wales 7,741. with foreign degrees
33. who refused to make return
245. (Of whom many are believed to be unqualified.) in Ireland
1,836. in Dublin alone
364. who refused to make return
197. (Of whom many are believed to be unqualified.) in Scotland
1,441, who refused to make return
135. (Of whom many are believed to be unqualified.)
STATISTICS OF THE PROFESSION.
The number of medical men engaged in the public services in the three kingdoms exceeded 2,000. The numbers at the present day very slightly vary; in Ireland, however, there are 2,721 registered practitioners. In the cities the number of practitioners, both absolutely and in proportion to population, have greatly increased during the past forty years. In 1825, the proportions to the population in London of physicians was todo, of surgeons izdo, and of apothecaries odo; while in Paris it was, physicians 15'5, surgeons 73'50, and apothecaries Hobo. The proportions now in London are much more similar to those of Paris. At present in Dublin there are 29 resident fellows of the College of Physicians, 76 fellows of the College of Surgeons, and 54 apothecaries keeping open shops.
It must be admitted on all hands that the importance of the profession of medicine is not fully recognised, many causes having contributed to degrade it from the position it should occupy.
them is the fact that the public, uninformed on the functions of the human body, have imperfect means of judging of the comparative merits of those who treat their derangement. The superficial and boasting presumer is many a time the favourite with the vulgar, to whom the well-informed and honorable practitioner will offer neither flattery nor false hopes. Another, is the absence of just rewards, such as elevated positions in the State, for its most distinguished promoters, which would stimulate the talented and refined to adopt it as their calling. It is almost universally acknowledged that the educated and enlightened classes are not adequately represented in our country's senate. It was, however, confidently hoped that this anomalous state of things would cease as soon as the Reform Bill became law, but that measure only enacted that the London University should have a representative, and it is to be feared he will not be chosen from the medical profession. No impartial man could
PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION. then deny the importance of having members of the medical profession, who could there be consulted on the numerous questions relating to public health to be discussed. The other learned professions are most amply represented in both upper and lower houses, for instance, over 100 members of parliament are practising barristers, and no just reason ever has, or probably can, be adduced why medicine should not enjoy similar invaluable privileges. The main objections urged to medical representation in parliament is, that no profession or calling is directly represented; be that as it may, the clerical and legal professions and commercial and other callings have very many advocates there. But if the profession is not to have special members of parliament, the licensing bodies may fairly seek the privileges which the universities have so long enjoyed, and if they amalgamated, as shall be hereafter advocated, such a just concession could not be long denied. Licentiates of five years standing might share the franchise with fellows of the colleges.
It may be said that the university representatives represent medical men, but how few of the constituents of Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin are doctors of medicine, and when was a member of the profession chosen ? Even in the London University, where half the constituency is medical, and where half the places on the senate and committee of convocation have been bestowed on the profession, there appears to be no chance for a medical representative. The inability of medical men to make themselves heard in parliament renders them liable to have their interests—which are as well, in most vital respects, the interests of every man, woman, or child-overlooked or despised. The intimate knowledge of mankind, pschycical as well as corporeal, which they must acquire, would render their opinions valuable and their decisions judicious. It may be objected that as medical men derive their incomes from the active exercise of their pro
fession, they could not afford to relinquish such emoluments. This is assuredly fallacious, as many distinguished and disinterested individuals would submit to such pecuniary sacrifice for so grand an opportunity of administering to the public good, and a leader in Dublin has already volunteered. Besides, there are some positions in the legislature (and there should be more) where their services could be recompensed. In the United States, many high senatorial and other offices in the government are filled by medical men; for example, Dr. Sheldon was Speaker of the House of Assembly. On the Continent, likewise, medical men frequently fill representative positions, e.g. Virchow. The great Haller, whose mind had undergone a very appropriate course of training for such duties, was the originator of many legislative and social improvements in Switzerland. As the sittings at Westminster take place at night and for but a short period of the
year, many London practitioners who now reside in the country during night, might attend with but little
personal or pecuniary sacrifice. If precedent be asked for, we point to Radcliffe, the greatest benefactor of Oxford, Friend, and Mead, who all served their country in this position. There are at present three retired medical men in parliament, Sir John Gray, Dr. Brady, and Mr. Vanderbyl ; and one practising surgeon, Mr. Clement. It is much to be regretted that the candidature of such distinguished members of our profession as Sir Charles Locock and Mr. Mitchell Henry has been unsuccessful. The latter gentleman canvassed Manchester in November last, and many of the medical men gave him energetic support-others declared that they preferred to follow party considerations.
It is unpleasant to have to record, that efforts were made some years ago by one of the largest medical corporations against presenting a petitition to the crown for parliamentary representation. How different was the course the profession in Dublin adopted, the influential