History of Medicine

Jewish Medical Students and Graduates at the Universities of Padua and Leiden: 1617–1740

Kenneth Collins


The first Jewish medical graduates at the University of Padua qualified in the fifteenth century. Indeed, Padua was the only medical school in for most of the medieval period in Europe where Jewish students could study freely. Though Jewish students came to Padua from many parts of Europe the main geographical sources of its Jewish students were from the Venetian lands. However, the virtual Padua monopoly on Jewish medical education came to an end during the seventeenth century as the reputation of the Dutch medical school in Leiden grew. For Jews seeking to enter the medical profession aspiring medieval Jewish physicians Padua was, for around three hundred years, the first, simplest and usually the only choice.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2013;4(1):e0003