Medical Faculties and Reformed Studies in Cagliari and Sassari Universities

Eugenia Tognotti


In the same decade during which Vienna government was proceeding to the rearrangement of the Medical Faculty of the University of Pavia, Savoy government started the reform of Cagliari and Sassari Universities. The programme of medical studies to be introduced in the "restored" Universities aroused an important debate which involved the government of Turin, the local authorities and the Magistrature. The main points concerned the teachings to be started, the programmes and the texts to be adopted, the methods and contents of teaching. The range of ideas aiming to conform island medical Faculties to the progress of science, gave life to the critique of a teaching model, still ruled by the Galenic authority and by metaphysical etiological explanations, which ignored the physiological and pathological reality revealed by the anatomical study methodically on performed corpses. The new programme of studies admitted the teaching of surgery, which had completely disappeared in the university ruled by Jesuites, and increased the value of anatomy teaching, that will be chosen as a subject for the speech made during the solemn opening of the medical Faculty of Sassari in 1765. The need for an empirical testing which had to follow theorical studies in wards, where teachers had to give lessons at patients' bedside, was considered of such importance that it was codified in the Regulations of the reformed University. It was the very first step towards the welding between medical-surgical studies and nosocomial practice which was about to revolutionize the teaching framework of medical studies.

Key Words: Medical teaching - University of Sassari - University of Cagliari 

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