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December 21, 1970

The History of Medical Education

Author Affiliations

University of Kansas Kansas City


edited by C. D. O'Malley (symposium, Feb 1968), 548 pp, with illus, $20, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1970.

JAMA. 1970;214(12):2200. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180120072031

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Eighty years have passed since a global history of medical education was encompassed in a single volume. That book by Theodor Puschmann served long and well, but medical education has not escaped the radical change of medicine in general during the past several decades. A new account was needed, and The History of Medical Education, edited by the late C. D. O'Malley, fills the void so well it may discourage any similar venture for the next eight decades.

O'Malley's effort grew out of a 1968 International Symposium sponsored by UCLA. Nineteen contributors give this book a remarkable geographic sweep, including areas ignored by Puschmann such as Southeast Asia, Japan, and Latin America. Particularly welcome to us chauvinists was John Field's excellent coverage (and bibliography) of American medical education from the Civil War down to day before yesterday.

Most readers are all too aware of the usual defects in a book