True heroes and healers
Expertise, authority and the making of medical dominion
in Performing medicine
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Claims about the supremacy of medical science were fundamentally rhetorical, designed to impress upon the public mind, the moral authority of orthodox medicine. The precise origins of the York Medical School are somewhat obscure, but the idea of establishing such an institution was first publicly mooted by the pseudonymous 'Medical Pupil' in a series of letters to the York Herald in 1832. By providing a single focus for medical education, the Medical School formalised and institutionalised hitherto diffuse and inchoate expressions of knowledge and expertise. The foundation of the York Medical School marked a key development in the elaboration of medical identity and authority on the local stage. Medical reformers therefore faced an extremely difficult task in squaring their vision of a state-sanctioned professional dominion with the dictates of political and economic liberalism.

Performing medicine

Medical culture and identity in provincial England, c.1760–1850


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