The first universities were usually ecclesiastical institutions with close links between learning and Christian theology. The lack of access to a university medical selleck chemicals llc degree did not completely restrict access for Jews to the medical profession as medical education in Europe in the Middle Ages consisted mainly of training through apprenticeship, under the guidance
of an established master. The teaching experience could be completed by the conferring of a license to practice. While the general licenses issued to Jewish Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical physicians entitled them to treat only Jewish patients, this condition was not always observed.2 Besides physicians, surgeons, and barbers, the medieval patient might also consult herbalists, pharmacists, and a wide variety of female healers.8 Though Jews were excluded from medieval universities, which became the norm for the training of physicians, Jews continued to aspire to the practice of Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical medicine, and leaders of church and state often preferred to consult
Jewish doctors.9 At the same time, Jewish community leaders worried about the risks that accompanied the exposure of their sons to university learning in the Christian world. Rabbis, like Joseph Solomon Delmedigo (Figure 1), frequently expressed their concern or even expressed their complete opposition to such studies. Rabbi Jacob David Provenzal wrote, in 1490, to Rabbi David Messer Leon his total Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical opposition to all secular learning, including even that of medicine.10 Rabbi Joseph Solomon Delmedigo (1591–1655), a native of Crete and a former Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical student in Padua, had a knowledge of logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics, and divinity and devoted himself to medicine, writing Refu’ot Te’alah (Healing Medicine), and to mathematics and astronomy. Nevertheless, in
his Sefer Elim, he warned parents against sending their sons to Padua before “the light of the Torah has shined upon them Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical … in order that they not turn away from it.” Tuviya Cohen, a physician whose writings illustrate the exposure to the sciences he encountered at university, counseled that “No one (Jew) in all the lands of Italy, TCL Poland, Germany and France should consider studying medicine without first filling his belly with the written and oral Torah and other subjects.”11 There were bold attempts to provide Jewish facilities for medical studies in Sicily in 1466 and in Mantua in 1564, but these proved unsuccessful.12,13 Cecil Roth considered that there was some “inconclusive evidence” that the college in Mantua did operate for a few years.10 Studying in Padua did give Jewish students access to the local Jewish communities, both in Padua and in Venice, where there were opportunities for Jewish students to familiarize themselves with the language and subjects required for the medical course, and which were not available to them in their own communities, in an encompassing Jewish environment.