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October 21, 1939

The Licensing of Professions in West Virginia

Author Affiliations

By Frances Priscilla De Lancy, Instructor in Political Science, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia. A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Duke University. Cloth. Price, $2.25. Pp. 197. Chicago, Illinois: Foundation Press, Inc., 1938.

JAMA. 1939;113(17):1591. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800420065030

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Much has been said concerning the defects of our various systems of professional licensure, but little has been written about the fundamental principles or social theories on which such regulation must rest. In her doctoral thesis Miss De Lancy has analyzed the professional laws of West Virginia and summarized their history. For the purpose of her study she has formulated a definition of the term profession both interesting and unique, namely "that organized vocation in which individuals are licensed by the state after a period of formal academic education and training in an approved professional school." So restricted, the term excludes such long recognized professions as the ministry, journalism, teaching and the stage because they are not licensed by the state. It also ignores such newer aspirants to professional recognition as plumbers, realtors and barbers on the ground that for them no formal education is deemed necessary. In her discussion

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