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essay-sample-without-footnotes - Regulation of Physicians...

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1 Regulation of Physicians in Upper Canada, 1865- 1869 How a Lower Canada Medical School Affected Upper Canadian Legislation Ragini Srinivasan
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2 Upper Canada has a long history of legal medical regulation, largely due to its unique political situation. To appease both French and English settlers, Quebec was divided into Lower and Upper Canada in 1791. The Constitution Act of 1791 marked the end of the executive council period of Quebec, and established legislative assemblies in each region. Governed primarily by English law, yet bordered by the populous American States, Upper Canada’s population was serviced by military physicians attached to its large fortresses, who were trained by British, American and later Lower Canadian medical schools. Their numbers were insufficient to handle the vast rural populations, and many irregular and untrained practitioners attended the needs of these settlements. Unable to determine the quality of the education, if any, received by these practitioners, and yet relying on them to service their population, the region’s legislative council had to balance the demand for physicians with the need to regulate their practices. This shortage of physicians, lack of local medical colleges and the influx of American-trained practitioners led to a series of medical regulatory acts by which the Upper Canada Medical Board granted license to practice. Founded on English precedents, however, the lasting iterations of this act enshrined the traditional view of an English university medical degree as de facto license to practise, so that while American- trained physicians were subject to licensing exams, British licensed physicians were exempt. Furthermore, as the members of the Upper Canada medical board later founded, or were associated with, an Upper Canadian medical college, licensing of Upper Canada- educated students was essentially tantamount to graduation. Regulation of medical licensing in Ontario underwent a significant shift towards standardised self-regulation in the 1860s. The 1865 ‘Act to regulate the qualifications of
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3 practitioners in Medicine and Surgery of Upper Canada,’ or ‘Medical Act of Upper Canada’ was the first Canadian act to standardise the licensing requirements. For the first time, passing no longer depended solely on the composition of the examining board, as the newly-established General Council for Medical Education and Registration for Upper Canada (General Council), set specific matriculation and examination objectives. This led eventually to the establishment of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, an autonomous organisation which took over all examination processes in 1869. Critically, while the 1865 act maintained the right of Lower Canadian University graduates to practice in Upper Canada, the 1869 act severed this courtesy. Significant attempts were made in the intervening years to move towards more rigorous entrance and licensing requirements, but all attempts failed until the passage of the 1869 Act. By examining one
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course HPS 319 taught by Professor L.dacome during the Fall '11 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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essay-sample-without-footnotes - Regulation of Physicians...

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