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The iconic white coat was originally worn by physicians in the laboratory setting in the 19th century. At the time, advances in medicine meant that people were actually starting to survive their stays in hospital. Hospitals had been associated with almost certain death before this point. The white coat gradually became adopted worldwide, its colour being associated strongly with authority and healing. It is still popular throughout the world today. Many medical schools in the USA hold a formal robing ceremony.
The oldest medical school in the world is Naples Medical School at St Aniello a Caponapoli in Italy. Its origins date back to the 6th century AD. It continues to train doctors today.
An Essential Medical Miscellany is published by RSM Press and distributed by Marston Customer Services.
For more information visit http://www.rsmpress.co.uk/bkpanja.htm