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Saturday, November 30, 2013

A typical roster for a 14th century med student

Historian Thomas Bradford gives us an idea of what it would be like to be a medical student in the 14th century at the University of Leipsic.  It was a simple three year program.

6 to 7 A. M.—First Canon of Avicenna with the explanations of Jacob of Forli.
1 p. M.—Book IX of Rhazes and Almansorem, with the explanations of Arculanus.
3 p. M.The Doctors read some work aloud, in this semester the Prognostics of Hippocrates.
6 to 7 A. M.The Ars Parva of Galen, with the exposition of Torrigiano.
1 p. M.—First Fen, fourth book of the Canon of Avicenna.
3 p. M.Hippocrates.
6 to 7 A. M.—The Aphorisms of Hippocrates, with the commentaries of Galen and Jacobus.
1 p. M.—Fourth Fen, book of the Canon of Avicenna with the commentaries of Dinus de Garbo, or Hugo.

It seems it would be pretty easy to be a physician back then.  All of the courses entailed memorizing theories about health and medicine, although you'd also have to memorize all the remedies and, well, you'd have to perform basic surgeries if the need arose.  
According to Bradford: 
The students selected their authors for study and explanations at first, but in later times the authorities fixed the studies. In those days the number of students at the different -universities was very great. Oxford in the year 1340 is said to have had 14,000 students, Paris about the same time 12,000, Bologna about 10,000. Of course this includes students in every branch of learning. The teachers for a long time got no salary except at Salerno. They depended on lectures, examinations, graduating fees and practice. In the fourteenth century they usually received salaries. Bologna in 1451 had 170 professors.
Things have advanced quite a bit since then, hey?

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