Filler From our archive

Introductory address (1840)

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 24 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2457

In the commencement of an undertaking like the present, it is customary to make some prefatory statement, by which those who give it their support may be put in possession of the views and prospects under which it comes before them. The custom is in itself a harmless one, and as some advantages attend a formal introduction and commendation of a work to the regards of the reader, we shall follow in the beaten course, and shall endeavour, on the present occasion, to set forth the main objects for the promotion of which the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal is established.

The most important of these are—1st, to use the words of the Address of the Provincial Medical Association, issued at the institution of that body,—The maintenance of the honour and respectability of the medical profession; 2nd, The affording a special means of communication for the several medical and branch associations which have been formed in various parts of the kingdom; 3rd, The promotion, as far as possible, of the interests of these admirable institutions, and more especially of those of the Provincial Association; 4th, The collecting and recording of the numerous facts observed in every part of the provinces, many of which are now diffused through various channels of information, and too often overlooked from the very causes which should render them of the greatest utility; and 5th, The working out of those rich mines of information and medical instruction—the County Hospitals, Infirmaries, and Dispensaries.

The maintenance of the respectability of the profession, as it will readily be perceived, necessarily involves the contemplation of those great questions of medical reform which are now engaging the attention of medical practitioners. In the consideration of these we shall at once take the highest ground,—that of public utility. The establishment of a system of competent medical education; the securing to the profession a wholesome form of government; the suppression of empiricism; the providing of proper medical attendance for those who are unable to procure it for themselves; and the placing of these and other portions of medical police under the superintendence of those who are the best acquainted with the subject,—are all and each of them but so many modes of advancing the welfare and guarding the interests of the community in general. At the same time, these measures have a direct tendency to maintain medical practitioners, as a class, in that rank of society which, by their intellectual acquirements, by their general moral character, and by the importance of the duties entrusted to them, they are justly entitled to hold.


Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2457


View Abstract

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Free trial

Register for a free trial to to receive unlimited access to all content on for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial