Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Past Caring

Ye olde Tudor health market

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 04 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4125
  1. Wendy Moore, freelance writer and author, London
  1. wendymoore{at}

    For choice and control in health care it would be hard to beat the Tudors. The creed of “no decisions about me without me” was fundamental to the buoyant Tudor healthcare market. And the average Elizabethan with a lingering venereal sore or a troublesome bout of scaldhead (ringworm of the scalp) could rejoice in a bounty of health providers offering a colourful array of therapies.

    Sixteenth century medicine was a cut throat business, with intense rivalry between practitioners competing for work. With an estimated ratio of one practitioner for every 200 patients the Tudors were spoilt for choice. And although the College of Physicians …

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