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April 3, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(14):1212-1213. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940480064026e

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The purpose of medical licensure, like that of medical education, is to assure the public that those authorized to practice medicine are competent by establishing standards of education, evaluating the qualifications of candidates, and conducting examinations to test the knowledge and fitness of candidates. This public responsibility has been recognized in one form or another since the early beginnings of history. The appraisal of physicians to discharge their obligations to patients and the community has been accepted for centuries.

Roger II of Sicily issued an edict in 1140 forbidding anyone to practice medicine who had not passed the necessary examinations. The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 issued additional rules in regard to surgical procedures. Frederick II in 1224 extended the regulations promulgated by Roger II and even specified that the medical faculty of the University of Salerno should conduct the necessary professional tests. The educational component of medical training was

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