Admiralty Circular of 7 May 1867.
Admiralty Circular of 7 May 1867.

Royal NavyNaval SurgeonAdmiralty circulars

Admiralty, 7th May, 1867.


The Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to direct, that the following Regulations, relative to the Examination of Candidates for the Appointment of Assistant-Surgeon in the Royal Navy, shall in future be adopted:—
1. That a Candidate for entry into the Royal Navy shall make a written application to that effect, addressed to the Secretary of the Admiralty; on the receipt of which application he will be furnished with the Regulations, and a printed Form, to be filled up by him, to show if he possesses the required qualifications.
2. As vacancies occur, the number of Candidates required will be ordered to attend at the Admiralty Office on the first Tuesday in alternate months, commencing with Tuesday, the 2nd July, 1867; but it is to be observed, that no person can be admitted as an Assistant-Surgeon in the Royal Navy, unless he can produce satisfactory evidence that his name has been placed on the Medical Register as legally qualified to practise both Medicine and Surgery according to the regulations established by the Medical Act. And further, he will be required to make a declaration that he is free from any mental or bodily disease, defect, or infirmity which could interfere with the efficient discharge of his duties as a Medical Officer in the Navy.*
His physical fitness will be determined by the board of Medical Officers, who will be required to certify that his vision is sufficiently good to enable him to perform any surgical operation without the aid of glasses, and that he is free from organic disease, constitutional weakness, or other disability likely to unfit him for the Naval Service in any climate.
3. Each Candidate will be required to produce a Certificate of good moral character, signed by the clergyman of the parish or by the magistrate of the district.
4. A Certificate that he is not less than twenty, nor more than twenty-eight, years of age.
5. That he has received a preliminary Classical Education.
6. That subsequently to the age of eighteen he has actually attended a recognised Hospital for eighteen months, in which the average number of patients is not less than one hundred.
7. That he has been engaged in actual dissection for twelve months, and that he has performed the principal capital and minor operations on the dead body under a qualified teacher. The Certificates of Practical Anatomy must state the number of subjects or parts dissected by the Candidate.
8. On producing the above Certificates he will be examined before a Board of Naval Medical Officers, specially summoned by their Lordships, on the following subjects, viz.:—
Materia Medica
Physiology, or Institutes of Medicine
Practice of Medicine
9. Although the above are the only qualifications which are absolutely required in Candidates fur the appointment of Assistant-Surgeon, a favourable consideration will be given to those who have obtained the degree of M.D. from any University in the United Kingdom, or who, by possessing a knowledge of the Diseases of the Eye, or of any branch of science connected with the Profession, such as Medical Jurisprudence, Natural History, and Natural Philosophy, appear to be more peculiarly eligible for admission into the Service, observing, however, that lectures on these or any other subjects cannot be admitted as compensating for any deficiency in those required by the Regulations.
10. Such Candidates as shall have been found in all respects competent for the appointment of Assistant-Surgeon will be forthwith nominated to one of Her Majesty's Ships or to a Naval Hospital at home; or, should their services not be immediately required, their names will be duly registered for early appointments as vacancies may occur, But it is distinctly to be observed, that Candidates admitted into the Naval Medical Service must serve in whatever ship they may be appointed to; and that in the event of their being unable to do so from sea-sickness, their names cannot be continued on the Naval Medical List, nor can they, of course, be allowed Half Pay.
11. By the rules of the Service no Assistant-Surgeon can be promoted to the rank of Surgeon until he shall have served five years, two of which must have been in a ship actually employed at Sea, after which he will be required to pass an examination before a Board of Naval Medical Officers, assembled at the Department of the Media Director-General of the Navy.
12. Assistant Surgeons at home, after completing the stipulated five years' service, may, if the public service will admit, be granted two months' leave of absence on Full Pay on condition of their resuming their studies at a Medical School or Hospital.
13. Their Lordships have been pleased further to direct that a limited number of those Candidates who pass the best examination on entering the Service shall be promoted annually to the rank of Surgeon at an earlier period than would occur under ordinary circumstances; and that these promotions shall be awarded as follows:—
The Candidate who passes the best examination of his year — after five years' service.
The Candidate who passes the second best examination of his year — after six years' service.
The Candidate who passes the third examination of his year — after seven years' service.
Provided, however, that their second examinations are passed in an equally creditable manner, and that their conduct during the whole time they have been in the Service has in all respects been satisfactory.

By Command of their Lordships, Henry G. Lennox.

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