Philadelphia, May 17, 1902.
To the Editor:
—The soundness of the legal principle, that the regulation of the practice of medicine for the protection of the public comes within the general police powers of the state, is now regarded as fully established. Nearly four centuries ago the first statute was adopted in England for regulating medical practice. The preamble to this Act (3 Henry VIII, cap. ii) recites that physic and surgery were then practiced by "ignorant persons, who could tell no letters on a book, and by common artificers, smiths, weavers and women, who took upon themselves great cures; partly using sorcery and witchcraft, partly applying very noxious medicines to the disease." This statute enacted, under penalty, that no one should practice medicine without going before a board of examiners and receiving its approval. Since 1511, the date when this law was passed, many others have been enacted, all
Frank Woodbury. The Proposed National Board of Medical Examiners.. JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(21):1384–1385. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480210042013