Tognotti, Eugenia (2002) Per una storia della Facoltà di Medicina dell'Università di Sassari (1632-1968). Annali di storia delle università italiane, Vol. 6 , p. 131-152. ISSN 1127-8250. Article.
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The essay traces the history of the Faculty of medicine and surgery at the University of Sassari from 1632, the year the king of Spain Philip IV invested the University – founded as a Jesuit college in 1562 – with powers to grant academic qualifications. The work tracks, on the one hand, the development of courses and teaching content as medical science evolved over the long period stretching from the Spanish Age to the reforms of the 1960s, while, on the other, it looks at those frequent occasions when the Faculty fell on hard times in terms of the number of students enrolled in medicine and surgery courses, building space and equipment available, funding. Long subordinate to the Faculty of law, which in Sardinia guaranteed greater social clout, the Faculty of medicine was famous until the second half of the 1800s for its inability to attract students, a state of affairs that ran counter to plans of the Savoy government to create a professional class of people on the island capable of taking on board developments in medical science and filling the roles created by the growing commitment of the State to public health. Faced on several occasions during the 1800s with the threat of being closed down by plans to rationalize the national university system and ending up as a second-class institute, the University of Sassari was conditioned by its very precariousness and only started to grow in the first few decades of the XXth century. With the University of Sassari’s newfound stability and its promotion by a law of 1902 to first-class institute, the Faculty, despite the incessant turnover of teachers, saw a recovery in its fortunes which would put it on a par with other medicine faculties in Italy and allow it to surpass, in terms of number of students, the Law faculty which had enjoyed pride of place at Sassari University since the XVIth century. With fears of possible closure finally out of the way – fears which had helped cut off much needed funding for growth – the Faculty could at last cash in on its newfound security to find the financial resources needed to buy new equipment and instrumentation for the laboratories and put in place long-term plans to build new teaching rooms and research facilities. Once an institute designed merely for the training of a medical profession, it now became a center for research too.
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