Victorian London - Professions and Trades - Services Industry / General - Doctors 

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

BACHELOR OF MEDICINE - FIRST EXAMINATION, 1841

    The first examination for the degree of bachelor of medicine has taken place at the London University, and has raised itself to the level of Oxford and Cambridge.   
    Without doubt, it will soon acquire all the other attributes of the colleges. Town and gown rows will cause perpetual confusion to the steady-going inhabitants of Euston-square; steeple-chases will be run for the express delight of the members, on the waste grounds in the vicinity of the tall chimneys on the Birmingham railroad; and, in all probability, the whole of Gower Street, from Bedford-square to the New Road, will, at a period not far distant, be turfed and formed into a T.Y.C.; the property securing its title-deeds under the arms of the university for the benefit of its legs - the bar opposite the hospital presenting a fine leap to finish the contest over, with the uncommon advantage of immediate medical aid.
    The public press of the last week has duly blazoned forth the names of the successful candidates, and great must have been the rejoicings of their friends in the country at the event. But we have to quarrel with these journals for not more explicitly defining the questions proposed for the examinations - the answers to which were to be considered the tests of proficiency. By means of the ubiquity which Punch is allowed to possess, we were stationed in the examination room, at the same time that out double was delighting a crowded and highly respectable audience upon Tower-hill; and we have the unbounded gratification of offering an exact copy of the questions to our readers, that they may see with delight how high a position medical knowledge has attained in our country:-

SELECTIONS FROM THE EXAMINATION PAPERS

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

    1. State the principal variations found in the kidneys procured at Evan's and the Coal Hole; and likewise name the proportion of animal fibre to the rump-steaks of the above resorts. Mention, likewise, the change produced in the albumen, or white of an egg, by poaching it upon toast.
    2. Describe the comparative circulation of blood in the body, and of the Lancet, Medical Gazette and Bell's Life in London, in the hospitals; and mention if Sir Charles Bell, the author of the "Bridgewater Treatise on the Hand," is editor of the last-named paper.

MEDICINE

    1. You hare called to a fellow-student taken suddenly ill. You find him  lying on his back in the fender; his eyes open, his pulse full, and his breathing stertorous. His mind appears hysterically wandering, prompting various windmill like motions of his arms, and an accompanying lyrical intimation that he, and certain imaginary friends, have no intention of going home until the appearance of day-break. State the probable disease and also what pathological change would be likely to be effected by putting his head under the cock of the cistern.
    2. Was the Mount Hecla at the Surrey Zoological Gardens classed by Bateman in his work upon skin diseases - if so, what kind of eruption did it come under? Where was the greatest irritation produced - in the scaffold-wash of the erection, or else bosom of the gentleman who lived next to the gardens, and had a private exhibition of rockets every night, as they fell through his skylight, and burst upon the stairs?
    3. Which is the most powerful narcotic - opium, henbane, or a lecture upon practice of physic ; and will a moderate dose of antimonial wine sweat a man as much as an examination at Apothecaries' Hall?

CHEMISTRY AND NATURAL PHILOSOPHY

    1. Does any chemical combination take place between the porter and ale in a pot of half-and-half upon mixture? Is there a galvanic current set up between the pewter and the beer capable of destroying the equilibrium of living bodies.
    2. Explain the philosophical meaning of the sentence- "He cut away from the crushers as quick as a flash of lightning through a gooseberry-bush"
    3. There are two kinds of electricity, positive and negative and these have it pugnacious tendency. A, a student, goes up to the College positive he shall pass; B, an examiner, thinks his abilities negative, and flummuxes him accordingly. A afterwards meets B alone, in a retired spot, where there is no policeman, and, to use his own expression, "takes out the change" upon B. In this case, which receives the greatest shock.- A's "grinder," at beating his pupil was plucked, or B for doing it?
    4. The more crowded an assembly is, the greater quantity of carbonic acid is evolved by its component members. State, upon actual experience, the per centage of this gas in the atmosphere of the following places:- The Concerts d'Eté, the Swan in Hungerford Market, the pit of the Adelphi, Hunt's Billiard Rooms, and the Colosseum during the period of  its balls.

ANIMAL ECONOMY


    1. Mention the most liberal pawnbrokers in the neighbourhood of Guy's and Bartholomew's; and state under what head of diseases you class the spring outbreak of dissecting cases and tooth-drawing instruments in their windows.
    2. Mention the cheapest tailors in the metropolis, and especially name those who charge you three pounds for dress coats ("best Saxony, any other colour than blue or black"), and write down five in the bills to send to your governor. Describe the anatomical difference between a peacoat, a spencer, and a Taglioni, and also state who gave the best "prish" for old ones.

Punch, July-Dec 1841


NEW REGULATIONS TO BE OBSERVED BY STUDENTS QUALIFYING FOR MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS

EVERY candidate must produce testimonials of having attended at least one ball per week at the Lowther-rooms; and the same number of concerts at the Garrick's Head, Eagle Tavern, or Bower Saloon; and the examination will consist of the following heads:- Physiology, from the first volume of Punch; Anatomy and Muscular Development, from sparring at the Coach and Horses in Frith Street; Botany and Zoology, from the lettuces and lobsters at Knight's and Quin's Oyster Rooms; Chemistry and Materia Medica, from soda water, short pipes, birds'-eye and returns; Practical dissection from the Rupert Street dining rooms of Berthollini's. He must also be conversant with the contents of every song-book sold in London, and translate the flash ones into dog Latin, before the Court of Examiners. The subject for the Jacksonian Prize this year at the College of Sugeons is the inquiry "In which is the greatest portion of animal fat consumed - in the candles used by the medical students to study from, or in the rush-lights left up for them at night in the passage; and what inverse ratio do they bear to each other?

Punch, Jan.-Jun. 1842


SPLENDID OPENING FOR A YOUNG MEDICAL MAN

Chairman. "WELL, YOUNG MAN. SO YOU WISH TO BE ENGAGED AS PARISH DOCTOR?"
Doctor. "YES, GENTLEMEN, I AM DESIROUS ..."
Chairman. "AH! EXACTLY. WELL - IT'S UNDERSTOOD THAT YOUR WAGES - SALARY I SHOULD SAY - IS TO BE TWENTY POUNDS PER ANNUM; AND YOU FIND YOUR OWN TEA AND SUGAR - MEDICINES I MEAN - AND, IN FACT, MAKE YOURSELF GENERALLY USEFUL. IF YOU DO YOUR DUTY, AND CONDUCT YOURSELF PROPERLY, WHY - AH - YOU - AH - "
[Punch. "WILL PROBABLY BE BOWLED OUT OF YOUR SITUATION BY SOME HUMBUG, WHO WILL FILL IT FOR LESS MONEY."]

Punch, Jan.-Jun. 1848


see also Charles Manby Smith in The Little World of London - click here