In general, the simultaneous art and science of plague doctoring requires a great deal of knowledge in regards to human physiology (very much like a "regular" doctor would) and magic. Not only this, but the practitioner must be of incredibly strong mind and will, and often body due to the dangerous nature of plague doctoring.
Scribes work as satellites and assistants to their plague doctors. They exist to help lift the strenuous burden of combating ink demons.
There are two kinds of plague doctors and scribes-- those that are certified and those that are rouge, or un-certified.
Those that are certified received their training from the academy (More info can be found under "ACADEMY"). They are usually assigned their tasks by a council located within the academy (who have close access to grades, verbal reports from teachers, and what have you), though private commissions can be taken on the side. (It is not recommended to take commissions on the side, as new assignments can be given at any moment).
Plague doctors are contacted via white ink messenger animals such as frogs and butterflies and bats!
Rogue, or non-certified plague doctors may or may not use white ink magic in order to plague doctor. Usually, they take up private, or shadier cases.
The Academy Overview
The Academy was founded in the year XXXX by XXXXXX in order to spread the art and science of plague doctoring and scribing. It is a large school that is composed of great white buildings and courtyards. Tuition was at first cheap but became much more expensive as more and more students began to apply, and the staff to student ratio shrunk. Scholarships are available to those with outstanding potential. Likewise, scholarships can also be given to those that help maintain the white ink tank-walls that surround the general campus/area.
The Academy (USUALLY) lets in new students aged at least 18-19 that demonstrate a rudimentary understanding of white magic.
In order to be admitted into the school, one must have a rudimentary understanding of magic (sort of like college). Before the lower division (high school) was founded, most applicants took a year off to undergo private study, and then applied to the Academy. (SEE LOWER DIVISION IN NEXT POST FOR INFO)
The first year of attendance, everyone is expected to take introductory courses for scribing and plague doctoring. A person declares his/her specialty-- scribing or plague doctoring-- at the end of the first year. They make exceptions for those that are able to take on both.
Most finish after four years. It is possible to finish before that if you are severely lacking in a life.
The exit examination can be taken at any time. Most wait until the very end, when they've taken all their classes to take the exam. After the exit examination, and a few months of work out in the field, they are allowed to graduate and receive their licenses.
Scribes and plague doctors usually partner up by themselves, and report this partnership to the school. However, there is a department that can assign plague doctors to scribes should a scribe be unable to find a plague doctor and vice versa.
Those that received their licenses through the academy subsequently get their assignments from a branch of the academy-- the council. The council has direct access to grades and to teacher verbal reports. Actually, since they are short on personnel, some of the teachers ARE on the council.
The council is located on campus to very intimately know their plague doctors' and scribes' limitations and strengths.
The council contacts its licensed plague doctors via white ink messenger animals (bats, frogs, birds, what have you) that travel along phone lines. Private cases can be taken on the side, but it's not recommended as it may distract a duo from their main cases.
The Lower Division HISTORY:
For many years, the government has pushed for some way to make entering the Academy easier.
Plans were made to turn a nearby high school into one more specialized towards the basics of white magic, plague doctoring, and scribing. That way, there would be more eligible applicants for the Academy to accept!
But, due to lack of funds, plans were simply left... As plans...
This all changed when Byx Mori epicly failed to exorcise a highly prominent citizen. His incompetence really, really damages the Academy's reputation (and enrollment size).
Luckily enough, Rhin Typus plague doctoress extraordinaire had already launched her career, taking Byx's place as number one practicing plague doctor. She made great donations to the Academy and the school, so that the Lower Division could be launched.
The Academy made a great spectacle out of the opening of the Lower Division, and really underscored Rhin's amazingness in order to distract the public from Byx's failure/tanked reputation. The government helped, hoping for a greater number of certified plague doctors and scribes.
The Lower Division is composed of 14-18 year olds interested in learning the ways of plague doctoring/scribing. There are specialized classes for each, and all students are encouraged to pick one or the other. (LOOSE ENCOURAGEMENT THOUGH, THINK HIGH SCHOOL)
UHH SOMEWHERE LATER MAYBE AS JUNIORS OR SENIORS (SECOND TO LAST OR LAST), students take courses in which they are randomly assigned into groups of four, and take on small ink demons under the close guidance of a seasoned instructor.