Summary
Doctor of Medicine (abbreviated M.D., from the Latin Medicinae Doctor) is a medical degree, the meaning of which varies between different jurisdictions. In the United States, and some other countries, the M.D. denotes a professional degree. This generally arose because many in 18th-century medical professions trained in Scotland, which used the M.D. degree nomenclature. In England, however, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery was used and eventually in the 19th century became the standard in Scotland too. Thus, in the United Kingdom, Ireland and other countries, the M.D. is a research doctorate, honorary doctorate or applied clinical degree restricted to those who already hold a professional degree (Bachelor's/Master's/Doctoral) in medicine. In those countries, the equivalent professional degree to the North American, and some others' usage of M.D. is still typically titled Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.). The first medical degrees were awarded by the Schola Medica Salernitana around the year 1000, including to women such as Trota of Salerno. The degrees received legal sanction in 1137 by Roger II of Sicily and in 1231 by Emperor Federico II, in the Constitution of Melfi. In the titles XLIV-LXXXIX of the third book of the Constitutions of 1231, it was established that the activity of a physician (medicus) could only be carried out by physicians holding a medical degree, the Licentia Medendi (license to practice medicine), by the Schola Medica Salernitana (the only school in the kingdom authorized to award degrees in medicine). This degree was awarded after a curriculum composed of three years of study of logic, five years of medical studies, an examination of a commission composed of the professors of the university, a one-year apprenticeship with an expert doctor, and a final examination before the commissioners of the Royal Curia and the Provincial Curias. In 1703, the University of Glasgow's first medical graduate, Samuel Benion, was issued with the academic degree of Doctor of Medicine.
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