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Distribution of professional students in 1899
The map does not show Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico which have no professional schools, or Cuba and the Philippines where professional schools are connected with the universities at Havana and Manila respectively.
262 reported receipts exceeding $5,000,000 (New York 31 per cent), 270 expenditures exceeding $4,500,000 (New York 28 per cent). Degrees are granted by 73 theological schools, 82 law schools, 152 medical schools, 56 dental schools, 45 schools of pharmacy and 16 veterinary medical schools.
Distribution of professional schools and students in 18992– 38 political divisions of the United States report professional schools and students as follows:
359 293 215 200 195 134 131 125
The following report no professional schools : Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indian territory, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Utah, Wyoming.
Not including students at the University of Havana: law 124, medicine 98, pharmacy 98 (1899), or at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila: theology 6, law 558, medicine 404, pharmacy 51 (1897). Grand total, including also 1916 graduate medical students, 58,924.
Illinois leads for the first time in professional students, a fact due to a lack of proper control of the power to grant degrees and licenses. Including students in graduate medical schools, New York and Illinois report about the same number of professional students in 1899.
Varying standards — There is no national authority in the United States that can prescribe standards for degrees or for license to practise the professions. Each state makes its own professional laws. As a result there are almost as many standards as there are political divisions. The desirability of uniform standards throughout the country for admission to professional practice is recognized generally, but varying conditions as to density of population, educational advantages and general development make it impracticable to hope for the attainment of this end for some time to come."
30 years ago the public had little protection from incompetency in professional practice. The bar is said to have been at its lowest ebb. Medical laws were crude and largely inoperative. In several states only were there any acts designed to control the practice of pharmacy and dentistry. There was no law whatever restricting the practice of veterinary medicine.
There has been extraordinary progress, specially in the last decade, in restrictive professional legislation, and in the admission and graduation requirements of professional schools throughout the United States. In view of these facts the growth in professional students is remarkable. From 1888 to 1899 the increase was as follows: theology 24 per cent, law 224 per cent, medicine 84 per cent, dentistry 380 per cent, pharmacy 31 per cent, veterinary medicine 17 per cent.
In 1890, when the last U. S. census was taken, the ratio to population for each given profession was: clergymen i to 710, lawyers i to 699, physicians i to 598, dentists i to 3579. The corresponding ratios for 1870 were : clergymen I to 879, lawyers i to 946, physicians i to 617, dentists i to
See section on Influence of medical societies.