All at sea

“Why join the navy when you can be a pirate…”

Steve Jobs

A recent facebook post by a friend remarked on the enjoyment they were getting from re reading Patrick O’Briens naval novels. These deal with life in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. A key character is Ships surgeon, Stephen Maturin. Naval surgeons in the early 1800s were warranted officers carried on all warships. Medical training for most doctors in that period was not uniform or specified. Naval surgeons were one of the first specialities to have a certified process of qualification. The Royal Naval Board required it’s surgeons to pass an examination conducted by the Barber-Surgeons Company, later known as the Royal College of Surgeons. Surgeons were obliged to keep detailed logs of all the treatments and procedures carried out. After each voyage they were submitted to the Barber-Surgeons Company for checking, commentary and feedback. These processes are among the first examples of formal credentialling and audit of medical practice. #thanksandrewaxolotlman #letsmakelemonade

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