Jewish Medical Students and Graduates in Scotland, 1739-1945

Collins, Kenneth Edward (1987) Jewish Medical Students and Graduates in Scotland, 1739-1945. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis describes the history of the Jews in medicine in Scotland between 1739 and 1945 using archival material from all the Scottish medical schools. During these two centuries Jewish students from within Scotland as well as groups of Jewish students from many overseas countries came to Scotland to study and qualify. Jewish students were drawn to medicine by the long Jewish chain of medical tradition and by the high status accorded to the physician within that tradition. In addition, as conditions in medical schools became favourable Jewish students came forward to take advantage of these facilities, There was no religious bar to Jewish students entering the Scottish universities whose diverse student body included those from a wide variety of religious and national backgrounds. The English universities, by way of contrast, did not permit professing Jews to take degrees until the second half of the nineteenth century. Jews were among the first medical graduates in Aberdeen in the eighteenth century. They were also to be found amongst the student body of the medical school of the University of Edinburgh from the middle of the eighteenth century, as Edinburgh gradually reached international prominence as the foremost medical school of its day, During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as the indigenous Scottish Jewish community grew, Jewish students were quickly recruited into the medical profession. This movement was led by the children of the Jewish clergy in Scotland and included important working-class element from the Gorbals in Glasgow as the proportion of Jews in Scotland entering medicine reached ten times their relative number the Scottish population. The universities and medical schools remained receptive of the local Jewish medical students and no restrictions were placed on their entry. The Scottish medical schools had a long tradition of accepting overseas students and within this student body were various groups of Jews. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries some America and Vest Indian Jews, studied in Scotland, the latter group beginning a tradition linking Jamaican Jewry and the Scottish universities which has continued into the twentieth century. During the nineteenth an early twentieth century came increasing numbers of South African Jews among the large group of South Africans studying in Scotland, and mostly to be found in Edinburgh. During the 1920s American Jewish medical students began to study in Scotland as they had been excluded, by the subtle application of a numerus clausus, from certain of the major American medical schools especially in the North Eastern United States. American Jews found places in the Scottish universities and as the 1930's progressed the extra-mural medical schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh accommodated more of Americans making Scotland the major centre for overseas American medical students during that decade. During the 1930's too, came Central European refugee physicians who were attracted to the extramural colleges by the flexibility of their entry procedures and because of the determination of the Scottish Triple Qualification Board to resist making changes to the Scottish regulations which allowed German practitioners to requalify in one year.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Economic history, Science history, Education history, Judaic studies
Date of Award: 1987
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1987-77613
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 11:53
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2020 11:53

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