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February 4, 1961

Science or Medicine

Author Affiliations

Utica, N. Y.

Formerly Professor and Chairman, Department of Physiology, State University of New York College of Medicine, Syracuse. Now Director of Research, Masonic Medical Research Laboratory.

JAMA. 1961;175(5):392-393. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040050004012

WHEN THE premedical student first elects to study medicine—or rather begs permission to study medicine—his decision reflects his desire to relieve human suffering, or his admiration for a warm and noble physician among friends or family, or his fascination for the intricacies of biological problems, or his envy of the public acclaim accorded to those rare individuals who magnificently solve such problems, or simply his wish to engage in a respected and sometimes remunerative profession. When, by an admissions committee with well-chewed nails, he is granted the privilege of entering medical school, he may hardly have started to think beyond the arduous four years he faces, to think about the career he hopes ultimately to pursue in medicine or in medical science.

He enters medical school. After the clambake and softball game which introduce him to the big happy family, he begins the study of the so-called basic medical sciences.

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