The physicians and apothacaries vied for business in the 1700s. Physicians actually had little training in medicines and medications, the majority of their education being of the academic nature.
Tom Brown had this to say of the physicians:
"These gentlemen of the faculty are pensioners to death...for you must know, notwithstanding distempered humours make a man sick, 'tis the physician has the honour of killing him, and expects to be well paid for the job....So that when a man is asked how such a man died, he is not to anwer, according to corrupt custom, that he died of a fever or a pleurisy, but that he died of the doctor."
Ahh, so little changes.