Quote from Danforth in the book Life of Nathan Smith Davis - "In the month of April, 1834, when he was only seventeen years old, Nathan Smith Davis commenced the study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. Daniel Clark, of Chenaugo County, New York, and ’worked’ for his board. It would be hardly possible to make a more drastic commentary on the system of medical education as it was carried on seventy years ago than the simple statement of the above fact. A youth seventeen years old, with practically no previous preparatory training, is allowed to enroll himself as a medical student, complete the required course in less than three years, and assume the highest responsibilities in the reach of man, while he is yet a beardless youth; and in the present case such was the literal fact, for young Davis graduated from the ’College of Physicians and Surgeons of Western New York’ in January, 1837, ’with distinguished honor’ says one of his eulogists. Between the date of his registration as a medical student under Dr. Clark, his preceptor, and his graduation ’with distinguished honor’ there was a period of two years and nine months, and at his graduation he was just twenty years old; in other words, and ’infant’ in the eyes of the law. Yet the ’College of Physicians and Surgeons of Western New York’ - a school which perished of inanition long ago - never did a greater or worthier thing than when it created Nathan Smith Davis a doctor of medicine, and the 31st of January, 1837, provided to be an epoch-making day in the history of American medicine. ... Many eminent men occupied its professorships, and many eminent men received its diplomas."