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Doctor of Medicine (abbreviated M. D., from the Latin Medicinae Doctor) is a medical degree, the meaning of which varies between different jurisdictions. In the United States, and some other countries, the M. D. denotes a professional graduate degree. This generally arose because many in 18th-century medical professions trained in Scotland, which used the M. D. degree nomenclature. In England, however, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery was used and eventually in the 19th century became the standard in Scotland too. Thus, in the United Kingdom, Ireland and other countries, the M. D. is a research doctorate, higher doctorate, honorary doctorate or applied clinical degree restricted to those who already hold a professional degree(Bachelor's/Master's /Doctoral) in medicine, in those countries, the equivalent professional to the North American and some others use of M. D. is still typically titled Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M. B. B. S. ). The first medical degrees were awarded by the Schola Medica Salernitana around the year 1000, including to women such as Trota of Salerno. The degrees received legal sanction in 1137 by Roger II of Sicily and in 1231 by Emperor Federico II, in the Constitution of Melfi. In the titles XLIV-LXXXIX of the third book of the Constitutions of 1231, it was established that the activity of a physician (medicus) could only be carried out by physicians holding a medical degree, the Licentia Medendi (license to practice medicine), by the Schola Medica Salernitana (the only school in the kingdom authorized to award degrees in medicine). This degree was awarded after a curriculum composed of three years of study of logic, five years of medical studies, an examination of a commission composed of the professors of the university, a one-year apprenticeship with an expert doctor, and a final examination before the commissioners of the Royal Curia and the Provincial Curias. In 1703, the University of Glasgow's first medical graduate, Samuel Benion, was issued with the academic degree of Doctor of Medicine. University medical education in England culminated with the MB qualification, and in Scotland the M. D., until in the mid-19th century the public bodies who regulated medical practice at the time required practitioners in Scotland as well as England to hold the dual Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees (MB BS/MBChB/MB BChir/BM BCh etc. ). North American medical schools switched to the tradition of the ancient universities of Scotland and began granting the M. D. title rather than the MB beginning in the late 18th century.
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