In a lecture delivered to the staff and students of Guy's Hospital Medical and Dental School, Sir Herbert Lightfoot Eason,1 president of the General Medical Council, pointed out that the lay press in Great Britain has not thus far learned to differentiate between the British Medical Association and the General Medical Council. This incidentally is a difference not clear to many American physicians. The British Medical Association is a body established by the medical profession, whereas the General Medical Council was appointed primarily for the benefit of the public.
The short preamble to the Medical Act of 1858 sums up the function of the Medical Council: "Whereas it is expedient that persons requiring medical aid should be enabled to distinguish qualified from unqualified medical practitioners." The council distinguishes between the qualified and the unqualified practitioner, although it does not debar the unqualified practitioner from the practice of medicine and