The origin of licensure in the medical professions is outlined beginning in Europe around the first century with the examination of potential physicians by the most respected physician in the land. Guilds developed and licensing bodies became university medical faculties. Prussia was the firet country to require specific courses for license eligibility whereas state control first developed in Germany. Americans fluctuated among various licensing methods until the 1700s when state boards were established. Professional standards, including licensure, for allied health professions have typically followed the lead of physicians. The origins, advantages and disadvantages of licensure in several of these occupations are reviewed also.



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