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1799

  • Over 218 years ago, anyone who wished to practice medicine did so.
  • There was no need for a degree or certificate.
  • Among the medical practitioners in Lexington during the 1790s qualified physicians with the desire to show to the public those traits and credentials that differentiated the regular physician (allopaths) from medical pretenders (irregulars).
  • The regulars physicians’ need for respect and recognition led to the founding of a medical society with membership limited to those deemed qualified.
  • Membership then was essentially a statement of the applicant’s educational credentials.
  • Education, not nobility nor place, set the society members apart from pretenders.

Mayo, W. Porter, Medicine in the Athens of the West, Princeton, McClanahan Publishing House, 1999, Print, page 10