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October 13, 1978

The Medical Profession in Mid-Victorian London

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1978;240(16):1779. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290160097042

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Although according to the jacket the author "traces the changing character of medical careers in the period from 1858 to 1886," the book actually ranges freely and widely over medical sociology of the whole 19th century and deals with subgroups of the medical profession, particularly the "medical elite" and the general practitioners. The author contrasts these groups in regard to education, professional opportunity, financial rewards, social status, and other sociological variables. The book seems to focus on the conflict between on the one hand the "elite" and on the other, the medical rank and file or other professional classes (such as nurses), lay groups (such as boards of hospital governors), or wider classes (such as "gentry")—all with special relevance to social and economic status. While the book offers a rather discursive account of various educational, social, and economic factors affecting different groups of medical practitioners, it ignores the vast overall