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March 3, 2010

Abraham Flexner and His Remarkable Report on Medical EducationA Century Later

JAMA. 2010;303(9):888-890. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.225

For 16 months, from January 1909 through April 1910, Abraham Flexner crisscrossed North America via train, horse and buggy, and the occasional Ford flivver. Along the way he visited 98 cities and made 174 separate inspections of 155 medical schools. In April 1909 alone, he surveyed some 30 schools in 12 cities.1 The result, his Herculean Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada, was released to the public in June 1910.2 The opening chapters of this powerful text discussed the historical underpinnings and basic necessities of US medical education. The second section featured a school-by-school analysis and included allopathic, osteopathic, proprietary, and sectarian institutions.

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