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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 15, 1999

A FALSE STEP.

Author Affiliations
 

JenniferReiling, Editorial Assistant

JAMA. 1999;282(23):2196D. doi:10.1001/jama.282.23.2196D-JJY90041-2-1

The students of the medical department of the Iowa State University propose, it is said, to petition the legislature to modify the law that requires them to pass a state examination before being allowed to practice medicine. They argue that the university examinations for their degrees are practically state examinations, and that graduates from their institution should be excepted from the operation of the law. It is to be hoped that no such modification will be made. The arguments they bring for it are such as should have no weight with the legislature. The statement made in their petition, as reported, that adjacent states recognize the diploma while Iowa does not, is a misrepresentation in that it implies that such recognition is general, and not confined to states that have not as yet made their practice laws as rigid as those of Iowa. The introduction of such a plea should condemn the whole movement on the principle of falsus in uno falsus in omnibus. The medical department of the University of Iowa stands, in the light of this petition, in the position of a school that turns out inferior graduates who can not pass the state examinations, and it will, therefore, win no prestige from this performance. If its faculty members are wise, they will do what they can to suppress or to counteract this depreciation of their institution. It is certainly not a credit to the teachers if the students unduly fear state examinations, and it will be a still greater pity if the state legislature is thereby induced to undo good work already done.

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