With the construction of the Indiana University Medical School satellite campus continuing daily, it is allows us to thinks back on the past and wonder what early medical practice was like in the county. Luckily for us the Clerk’s Archives has records that shine a light on that particular piece of history.
Did you know medical professionals used to register for permission to practice within the county with Circuit Court? Medical professional registries are a valuable source of information on the development of medical practice in our community. Fields covered include dentists, doctors, nurses, optometrists, and drugless physicians. This collection is also an often overlooked resource for genealogists interested in their relatives’ occupations.
The medical professional registries cover time periods and touch topics from intensely personal to patterns of service of women nurses during the Great War years. They include also include firsts such as the county’s first African American physician and the first female dentist.
A research guide to our medical professional registries was recently created, which can be seen below.
Medical Professional Registries
DENTISTS’ CERTIFICATES AND LICENSE, 1898-1931.
Record of certificates issued by state board of dental examiners and licenses issued to practice dentistry in county, showing dates of certificate and license, name, age, address and birthplace of dentist. Indexed alphabetically by the names of dentists.
DENTIST’S LICENSE, 1931-1951; 1950; 1972
Certificates issued to dentists by state board of dental examiners and submitted to clerk to obtain licenses to practice in county, showing names of dentist and school attended, dates of graduation, certificate and license. Arranged by dates of licenses.
*Some Dental Licenses are located in Physicians’ License books.
DRUGLESS PHYSICIANS’ LICENSE RECORD, 1928-1957
Record of certificates issued by state board of medical registration and examination and licenses issued to drugless physicians to practice in county, showing dates of certificate and license, name and address of physician, nature of license, and name of college attended. Arranged by dates of licenses.
REGISTER OF TRAINED NURSES, 1905-1950s.
Register of trained nurses practicing in county, showing name and address of nurse and dates of certificates and license; Indexes alphabetically by names of nurses.
WORLD WAR I VETERANS REGISTER, 1917-1919.
Register includes names of nurses who served in World War I. Unknown if this is a complete list or a listing of veterans living in the county in an unknown year.
CERTIFICATES OF REGISTRATION TO PRACTICE OPTOMETRY, 1907-1974
Record of certificates issued by state board of registration and examination in optometry and licenses issued to practice in county, showing dates of certificates and license, name and address of optometrist. Indexed by names of optometrists.
PHYSICIANS’ LICENSE RECORD, 1855-1897; 1897-1906; 1907-1961; 1961
Record of certificates issued by state board of medical registration and examination and licenses issued to physicians to practice in county, showing dates of graduation, certificate and license, name, age, address, qualifications, date and place of birth of physicians, and name of college attended. Also contains Drugless Physicians License Record, 1885-1927. Indexed alphabetically by name of physician.
For more information on the development of the medical licensing process, Ronald Hamoway has written a comprehensive article in the Journal of Libertarian Studies.
Hamowy, Ronald. “The Early Development of Medical Licensing Laws in the United States 1875-1900.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 3, No.1 (1979): 73-119.