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April 23, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(17):1370. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790170050013

Ten years before the Declaration of Independence, the colony of New York enacted a statute, the first of its kind in the New World, fixing professional qualifications for the practice of medicine. It forbade such practice to all who failed to satisfy the legal requirements, namely, a satisfactory examination conducted by the governor of the province, a judge and an officer of his majesty's army. In all our states similar legislation has been adopted. From time to time variations in the precise method of determining the candidate's fitness have been introduced. Once membership in a medical society was proposed as a necessity; another time a diploma from a medical school was required. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century most of the states set up official boards to test by examination the fitness of candidates for medical licensure.

After several years' study the first classification of medical schools by