The early careers of Glasgow medical graduates in the second half of the nineteenth century

MacKeith, John Stuart (2005). The early careers of Glasgow medical graduates in the second half of the nineteenth century. PhD thesis The Open University.



The thesis studies the immediate post-graduate experience of doctors graduating from Glasgow medical school in the second half of the nineteenth century. The study uses Medical Directories and census records and, for a few individuals, other relevant records; it also compares these graduates with those who obtained a licence from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow to see whether there were significant differences in their career experiences. Those graduating in the years 1856, 1876 and 1896 were selected to give a spread over the period of significant professional and educational developments. They also have the advantage that census records were available at the end of the first five years following graduation.
The main findings relate to the overall Scottishness of the graduates and to the effect of changes to medical education and regulation. The vast majority of the graduates came from Scotland, in particular from Glasgow and its adjacent area, and sought work there. The changes in medical education and regulation, in particular the 1858 Medical Act, resulted in graduates starting study later and studying for a shorter period; later they obtained fewer additional basic qualifications and the 1876 group moved less frequently, apparently because of less competition. The study also showed the importance of family support in the early years. The licentiates, on the other hand, showed a similar pattern of work, but came from all over the United Kingdom. They came to Glasgow to obtain a qualification and did not always study there.

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