Concept

Barber surgeon

Summary
The barber surgeon, one of the most common European medical practitioners of the Middle Ages, was generally charged with caring for soldiers during and after battle. In this era, surgery was seldom conducted by physicians, but instead by barbers, who, possessing razors and coordination indispensable to their trade, were called upon for numerous tasks ranging from cutting hair to amputating limbs. In this period, surgical mortality was very high due to blood loss and infection. Yet, since doctors thought that blood letting treated illness, barbers also applied leeches. Meanwhile, physicians considered themselves to be above surgery. Physicians mostly observed surgical patients and offered consulting, but otherwise often chose academia or working in universities. Some chose to reside in castles, where they treated the wealthy. Middle Ages in Europe Due to religious and sanitary monastic regulations, monks had to maintain their tonsure (the traditional baldness on the top
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