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April 8, 1961

MISTER SURGEON

JAMA. 1961;176(1):51. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040140053018

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Abstract

Surgeons were trained (in the 18th century) by apprenticeship and by hospital instruction, but rarely held degrees. Hence they were addressed— and still are in England—simply as "mister." They dealt chiefly with structural emergencies, superficial growths, and skin diseases. Such work was peripheral rather than central to the art of medicine. The services of surgeons were required on all social levels but their own status was inferior to that of physicians.—Shryock, R. H., Medicine and Society in America, 1660-1860, New York University Press, 1960, p. 3.

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