Under the French regime (circa 1600-1763). medical education did not exist other than through apprenticeship. According to Nadeau,1 only three men were in possession of a valid physician's or surgeon's diploma. They were Jean Bonamour, Antoine Briault, and Michel Sarrazin. All the others were barber-surgeons or assistants, trained in France before they left that country, or men who had been assistants to barber-surgeons, with no other training. Michel Sarrazin, a barber-surgeon, returned to France, and after two years of medical studies in Reims, he received a degree of doctor of medicine from the medical school of that city.
Although the King of France appointed Jean Madry, Jean Demosny, Michel Sarrazin, and Jourdain Lajus as master barber surgeons, no formal instruction was available in New France other than by apprenticeship. In the majority of cases, sons were apprenticed to their fathers, as evidenced by the names of Alavoine, father and
Leblond S. Pioneers of Medical Teaching in the Province of Quebec. JAMA. 1967;200(10):843–848. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120230095013
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