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June 24, 1961

II. The Costs and Returns to the Resident

Author Affiliations


Resident in Surgery, Veterans Administration Hospital.

JAMA. 1961;176(12):977-979. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040250003002

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IT IS DIFFICULT to evaluate a period of preparation and training before one has completed that training and experienced its effects. One's education can be viewed with much greater advantage from a mature age. Nevertheless, residents are ready and voluble critics of their training, and it is with a mixture of humility and enthusiasm that I rise to my present assignment.

We live in a society which places great value on leisure and material goods. Service and dedication are considered strange and suspicious motives. In terms of leisure and material goods, residency training is costly and its return is inferior. Most laymen of age and station comparable to residents are appalled at the resident's material sacrifice. Even the ultimate material return is not commensurate with the cost. These material injustices are now generally recognized within and without the profession, and they are diminishing slowly. Society wants well-trained doctors and must

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