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February 4, 1974

To Practice and To Preach

JAMA. 1974;227(5):555. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230180053018

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Old newspaper and magazine advertisements may tell us more about the past than accredited historical texts, as instanced by the following:

WANTED, for a family who have bad health, a sober, steady person, in the capacity of doctor, surgeon, apothecary, and man-midwife: He must occasionally act in the capacity of butler, and dress hair and wigs: He will be required to read prayers occasionally, and a sermon every Sunday evening. The reason for this advertisement is, that the family cannot any longer afford the expences of the physical tribe, and wish to be at a certain expence. A good salary will be given. N.B. He will have liberty to turn a penny in any branch of his profession when not wanted in the family. (Bath Chronicle, Thursday March 20, 1777, reprinted in Lancet 2:985-986, Nov 15, 1952)

This glimpse of England two centuries ago reveals an ideal "set up" for