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Republic licenses doctors

December
14
1837

On this day in 1837, the Congress of the Republic of Texas established the Board of Medical Censors, a forerunner of the Board of Medical Examiners, for the purpose of granting licenses to practice medicine and surgery in the republic. The law required that the board be composed of one physician from each senatorial district and that the members be graduates of medicine and surgery from authorized colleges and universities. A twenty-dollar fee was collected from those who passed an examination. Without a license, physicians could not collect unpaid fees in court. The first board included among its members Ashbel Smith, A. C. Hoxey, George W. Hill, J. B. P. January, R. A. Irion, Thomas Anderson, and A. M. Levy. The board was scheduled to meet once each year, but difficulty of transportation over long distances and Indian attacks frequently prevented annual meetings. The board was discontinued by a state legislative act in 1848.

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