July 23, 1960


Author Affiliations

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

From the Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University.

JAMA. 1960;173(12):1297-1301. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020300009005

The increasing complexity and scope of medical knowledge has led to general agreement that the medical student of today cannot be made proficient in even a large portion of the field of medicine. It has, therefore, become the acknowledged aim of most medical schools to produce what has been variously termed the basic doctor or the undifferentiated doctor. The aim of undergraduate education has come to be the provision of the broad knowledge which will permit the graduate to become, with further training, a good general practitioner, specialist, research worker, or teacher. The aim is clear and not controversial. The path to its achievement has been less clear and the subject of much experiment. As a background it is of interest to consider briefly the development of the modern medical school as known in the United States and Canada and in doing so to consider the changing methods in the

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