October 25, 1924


JAMA. 1924;83(17):1337-1338. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660170053021

There was a time when practitioners of the learned professions secured much of their training through service in an apprentice system. It was not the medical school so much as the physician mentor that afforded the most beneficent instruction and became the guide and counselor to the prospective student of medicine. Through his preceptor, the latter came into actual contact with the details of medical practice, in most parts of the United States, until little more than half a century ago. Until then, the contribution of the schools was confined largely to routine didactic lecturing, often based, to quote Garrison, "upon fantastic theories emanating from the teacher's brain." Presently, practical work was instituted in specially arranged laboratories, where the modern teaching of medicine as a science was ushered in. Today, clinical teaching has become organized on the basis of direct student contact with patients in the hospital, where practical instruction

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