Did you know that in the middle of XIX century and at the time of Sherlock Holmes, surgeons, as well as in our days, were distinguished from the rest of the medical medium, but absolutely the opposite way. In contrast to the doctors of Victorian England (now we would call them therapists) surgeons were pretty low on the social ladder. When doctors have been admitted into the circle of gentlemen long time ago, the surgeons as a people who “worked with hands” were not allowed. Physicians during their visits to the family were invited to the table, while the surgeons were forced to dine with the servants – they were dealing with injuries, sewed up the wounds and produced another “dirty” work. The work of the doctors was “pure” and intellectual – usually they were limited only the appointment of medicines.
However already around 1890 the status of surgeons and the other doctors was almost equaled, because the majority of surgeons who didn’t work in state of the hospitals were engaged in general practice. And the attitude to the surgeons as to the one of the most respected and esteemed among the doctors developed already by a turn of the century.