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Left: Medicinae doctor. | Lithography Le Médecin Ministre of Jacot, from a painting of Claude Jacquand 1842 Left below: The peddling of the nostrum (quack panacea) on the medical market in the eightteenth century. | Etching David Deuchar (1743-1808) Right: The quack. | Etching by Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685) 109 The living conditions, poor hygiene and limited medical knowledge made diseases and defects a normal part of everyday life. Medical treatment was provided in the shop of the barber-surgeon, on markets and most of all at home. The concept of hospitalisation for the treatment of disease was foreign to the population. Admission to one of the hospices was usually a sign of approaching death, with the boundary between care for the poor and for the sick being rather blurred. A clear exception to this rule was that soldiers, who were often far away from home, were admitted to the military hospital for the treatment of internal and surgical disorders. ‘Official’ medicine was practised by medicinae doctors, barber-surgeons and pharmacists. This kind of merchants or producers of woollen cloths. Barber-surgeons medical care was all but available to the poorer sections of combined their medical activities with the barber’s trade. the population. There was a clear division of tasks between medicinae They turned for medical care first of all to the folk medicine doctors and barber-surgeons. The doctores attended to internal of experienced relatives or neighbours. Most medical care was diseases and medicines, the barber-surgeons performed the provided on the ‘medical market’ of quacks, herbalists, sellers skills of surgery, bleeding, purging, applying external dressings, of miracle cures and a plethora of other unqualified healers. salves and ointments. The medicinae doctores were educated On annual fairs ‘travelling masters’ were admitted to practise and usually had a doctoral degree from the university of Leiden their speciality of cutting stones or eyes. or the university of Utrecht or one of the nearby foreign The whole of this medical spectrum was controlled by universities of Leuven or Cologne. In fact it was not unusual to the town council, the Indivieze Raad. This council decided on attend pre-university courses in the humanities and anatomy at admission of medical professionals, licences for pharmacists or an Illustrious School prior to studying at a university. indications for public health care. Between 1710 and 1760, 36 The Maastricht Illustrious School also played a role in this. medicinae doctors, seventeen barber-surgeons and thirteen Medicinae doctores paid house calls to the more affluent pharmacists were licenced to practise medicine in Maastricht. clients. Treatment options were limited, however, to to the Before they were permitted to practise, their degree prescription of herbal remedies, bleeding or purging. The latter certificate, dissertation or diploma of master surgeon were treatment was performed by barber-surgeons. Doctores were checked by the town council. This did not imply, however, that mostly educated in the theory of regular medicine, they took a all those who were allowed to practise medicine actually did patient’s pulse, observed patients and their urine, but rarely so. Some medical doctors are known to have been active as laid a hand on a patient. In Maastricht two medicinae doctores


Geneeskundeboek-Opmaak Binnenwerk-ENG.indd
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