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Medical News & Perspectives
April 21, 2010

The Flexner Report at the Century Mark

JAMA. 2010;303(15):1465-1466. doi:10.1001/jama.303.15.1465

From January 1909 to April 1910, a high school principal named Abraham Flexner visited all 155 medical schools in the United States and Canada to assess their ability to produce physicians rigorously trained in allopathic medicine. The book-length summary of his findings, published in 1910 by the Carnegie Foundation, served as the catalyst for a reform movement that changed medical education and still influences the way medicine is practiced in North America a century later.

The effort that produced the Flexner report (http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/sites/default/files/elibrary/Carnegie_Flexner_Report.pdf), formally known as Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (Bulletin No. 4)[New York, NY: Carnegie Foundation; 1910], came about during the Progressive Era, a time in which many believed science, technology, and education could solve society's ills.

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