Punch,  37 (1859), 193.

A Surgical Slave to a Free Hospital



Review, Drollery


Hospitals, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment

    Mr Punch reports having 'received a paper purporting to be a copy of the Rules and Regulations Established for the Guidance of the House-Surgeon of the Samaritan Free Hospital for Women and Children, 18 Edwards Street, Portman Square'. Criticises the authors of 'this contemptible code' for stipulating unreasonable conditions of employment for surgeons, notably, the insistence that surgeons at the hospital be qualified and unpaid, and be obliged to remain in such pecuniary circumstances for a year. Speculates on the meaning of the condition that surgeons 'shall hold office only during the pleasure of the Managing Committee', suggesting that 'pleasure' involves worshipping and cringing before the 'tyrants' who run the committee. Turning to the regulations concerning the domestic arrangements of the house surgeon, thinks the prescribed accommodation and eating hours are 'paltry' and suitable for a 'surgery-boy' rather than a 'qualified practitioner'. Punch takes particular exception to the rule that surgeons 'shall observe all orders of the Managing or House Committee', a rule suggesting that the only 'young surgeon' who would subject himself to the committee's 'disgusting domination' would have to be facing 'imminent starvation, or in the need of opportunity of seeing practice'. Warns the hospital that its charity might be compromised by 'vulgar beadles'.

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