« PreviousContinue »
TO THE SECOND EDITION.
SHORTLY after the publication of a first edition of the Unity of Medicine'* (April, 1858), the author became acquainted with a notice issued (Jan. 15, 1858) by the President and Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, in accordance with the will of the late Mr. Carmichael, offering prizes for the best essays “On the State of the Medical Profession, in its different departments of Physic, Surgery, and Pharmacy, in Great Britain and Ireland,” &c.
The subject of the treatise, and the object of the author as regards England and Wales, having been precisely in accordance with the will of the testator, he has been induced by this circumstance
—as well as by the favorable reception given to the attempt—to make such additions relating to Ireland and Scotland as shall fully carry out the
* Published anonymously.
purposes expressed in the notice, and to offer it as in some measure tending to the object in view.
The safety of the public, and therein the honour of the profession, and the glory of God, has been the standard kept in view in the execution of this work.
Inasmuch as it may tend to these high and holy purposes, he desires its success; wherever it may fall short of these, he as heartily desires its failure.
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The following pages have arisen from the doubts and difficulties experienced by the author many years since, on commencing practice in the medical profession. From this period, his mind has been led imperceptibly to inquire more and more regarding the varieties in the mode of practice and remuneration which exist in this kingdom, whence they have arisen, and wherefore they have continued. No concise and clear reply was afforded him in any known publication; the following facts have been therefore collected and arranged in the brief intervals of time taken from an anxious and engrossing profession. If they shall in any way supply the want to others which the writer himself experienced, it will accomplish one object he has had in view.
In pursuing this inquiry, he has been compelled
to set forth the origin of the three great divisions into which practitioners of medicine are broken up in this kingdom, not with a view to the disparagement of either section, but with an earnest desire to awaken a spirit of Unity which shall conduce far more to the advantage both of the profession and the public, than the interminable strife and dissension now existing. The slight sketch of the history of medicine as regards its unity on the one hand, its corruptions and divisions on the other, might have been greatly extended; further evidence of its unity might have been adduced, especially from the various authors who stood out as the champions of surgery during the time of its degradation and restoration, commencing with Constantinus Africanus down to Harvey ; more copious extracts might have been made from the statutes and charters referred to, and the various records and chronicles examined ; but this would have carried the work far beyond its purposed limits.
However imperfectly the object is accomplishedand no one is more aware of the defects and imperfections than the author himself — it at least enters on a subject which must ere long engage the attention of the whole profession, and which others may succeed in advancing. Some excuse