A plague doctor was not like your everyday general practitioner doctor – they only dealt with the ‘bubonic plague’ and as such could be described as a ‘specialist doctors’.
Having said that ‘Plague Doctors’ were not really doctors at all in that they had no formal training, could come from any background and hardly ever had any success in curing the ‘Bubonic Plague’.
Indeed in some medieval countries ‘Plague Doctors’ were considered to be nothing more than ‘Snake Oil Salesmen’ by some medieval people who didn’t trust plague doctors at all.
Plague doctors were often just to record keepers and rarely cured or helped victims of the plague.
Plague doctors would would wear bizarre looking masks that looked quite sinister and they were typically filled with herbs, spices and straw.
Part of the masks ingredients were thought to protect the ‘Plague Doctor’ from catching the disease and other ingredients there to simply mask the disgusting smells that would have come from the houses they visited.
The Plague Mask was shaped like a birds beak and had ‘glass eye openings’!
Scented materials inside the plague mask help the doctor overcome the putrid smells were – things like mint leaves, cloves, camphor, roses, ambergis were stuffed into the beak shaped nose!
Plague Doctors wore a long protective coat or cloak that was usually made for some kind of waxed fabric.
The inventor ‘Charles de L’Orme’ created a costume in 1620 that was used throughout Europe and made it’s first appearance in Naples.
Plague doctors used to carried a wooden cane to examine patients as direct contact was very risky and they would visit many ill people throughout the day!
These odd looking costumes were popular but probably had little effect in blocking out the disease
Plague doctors wore hats that were probably made from leather and waxed
A plague doctor was a specialized doctor who only dealt with the ‘Bubonic Plague’ – they had no formal training and rarely cured any of their patients.
Plague doctors wore a beak shaped masks filled with herbs and scented items to try and block out the smell and prevent himself from breathing in the bacterium that caused the black death, as they believed that the ‘Plague was airborne at that time.
Plague Doctors also wore a long coat or cloak type garment that was made from a material that had wax like properties – they also beloved that this garment would protect them from catching the plague.