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September 5, 1986

Learning To Heal: The Development of American Medical Education

Author Affiliations

St Louis University School of Medicine

St Louis University School of Medicine

JAMA. 1986;256(9):1200. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380090140034

George Miller, the eminent medical educator, once said, only half seriously, that not even knowledge of history would help medical educators avoid repeating errors of the past. Ludmerer, a physician and historian, believes that medical educators will be better prepared by learning from the past and presents the message that each generation has alternatives from which to choose.

Learning to Heal examines events from the 19th century to the present: the creation of the modern American medical school by an amalgamation of elements from European influences with homegrown adaptations; the preand post-Flexner eras, including the crucial role of philanthropy, which gave impetus to some of the more prestigious current schools; and, finally, the corporate model or modern medical education system.

In conducting the research for this book, Ludmerer visited more than 30 cities and obtained documents from most medical schools active at the time of the famed Flexner report. Events