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The last 50 years have seen remarkable advances in medical science. The practice of medicine and medical education have changed greatly to reflect the growth of medical knowledge. Laws governing medical licensure have changed relatively little.
At one time, medical education meant education leading to the MD degree, specifically the four undergraduate years in medical school. Fifty years ago a year's internship following graduation from medical school had become relatively common, but many states did not require it for licensure, and it was not at all uncommon for a young physician to enter the private practice of medicine immediately after graduation from medical school. Although almost a third of the states still do not require an internship for licensure, it is now almost inconceivable for a man to enter private practice without a period of postgraduate training, and the average duration of such training is at least three years, with
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MD DEGREE. JAMA. 1968;206(9):2108-2109. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150090184027