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The Titles Of Dr. Jekyll In The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

780 words - 3 pages

The Titles of Dr. Jekyll in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In the novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll held a number of titles, including M.D., D.C.L., LL.D., and F.R.S. These titles indicate that Dr Jekyll was a well educated in man in both medicine and law.

The first title, M.D., stands for doctor of medicine. In the mid 1800's (about the time Jekyll would have been educated), medical students attended medical school for approximately 3-4 years (there was no definite length). Their training was based around "natural philosophy": their studies included anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, therapeutics, biology, surgery, sociology and philosophy. Along with these subjects, students were encouraged to take courses in Latin and Greek. Exceptional students were encouraged to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge: these two schools were the best that England had to offer and can be compared to America's Harvard University in Boston. Things have changed slightly in the last one hundred years or so. Medical school is at least 4 years long (although many students stay in medical school for 5-6 years). Philosophy is no longer the main focus of medical school. The courses that were considered the most important in the medical school's curriculum (biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics) are now left to the undergraduate colleges to teach the pre-medical students. After medical school, students of the 1800's only had to take a test, and if they passed, they were free to work at any hospital they chose to study the practical branches of their profession. It is no longer that simple. Once finished with school and certification testing, the student begins a rigorous internship (can vary from 18-24 months), and then they must apply to the medical institution of their choice to begin their residency (also varies in time).

Another title held by Jekyll is D.C.L., or doctor of civil (canon) law. The foundation of this training rests in the beliefs of the British (and American) common law system. The common law system was derived from the Roman Catholic Church, and focuses on the judicial decisions, penalties and damages after an offense was committed. Heavy emphasis is placed on studying previously decided cases. Apparently, this degree no longer exists, or perhaps it has been changed, but I could...

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