The Medical Students: Chapter 2—Mr Simpson Briggs [2/8]
Serial, Short Fiction, Satire
Medical Practitioners, Education, Vaccination, Dissection
Describes the early career of Simpson Briggs, the porter of the hospital at which Joseph Muff and Jack Randle were taught, and who was as familiar as the bust of John Hunter. Describes medical professors' unsuccessful attempts to attract students and their subsequent retirement. Notes that one lecturer opened a dispensary in London offering 'vaccination direct from the cow, advice gratis, and shilling tooth-drawing'. Describes Briggs's attempts to learn dissection. He became a house-pupil to a 'grinder' who 'allowed pipes and half-and-half [a mixture of two malt liquors, commonly ale and porter] during his examinations', gave classes in pubs, and 'knew all the "catch questions" of the Apothecaries' Hall'.
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