29 April 2015 at 21:45:43 MDT
Time/Era: 17th Century (Plague Doctor)
Here's Feathers as a Plague Doctor!
Plague Doctors, as their name suggests, treated plague victims and were generally hired by towns and cities. This way both the rich and poor could be treated. However, most (if not all) plague doctors were not usually formally trained physicians/surgeons (or if they were, they were either second-rate and unable to have their own practice or young doctors looking to establish themselves). It was not uncommon for plague doctors to have zero experience in the medical field.
The iconic mask was developed in the 17th and 18th Centuries (with the garments themselves being developed by Charles de L'Orme in 1619, Paris, but eventually spread throughout Europe) with the hollow beak holding various aromatic herbs in order to combat and protect the doctors from 'putrid' or bad air... which in the miasmatic theory of disease was the cause of the plague (as well as various other diseases).
Plague doctors also served as public servants during epidemics (which started during the Black Plague), as not only did they treat plague victims, but they also wrote down the names of the deceased in the public record.