[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 9, 1979

Medical Education

JAMA. 1979;241(10):1040. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290360056031

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


It seems an ironic and troubling commentary on our times that the majority of physicians know so much about medicine and so little about arenas outside the healing arts. Like prevoyage Columbus they may have a suspicion that there is more beyond the boundaries of scientific medicine, yet few physicians possess the drive and purpose to stray from the scientific and narrow path into broader areas.

Not all the blame for this can be placed at the doors of present-day practitioners; part must be directed toward our standard method of producing physicians—our singularly minded educational system with its obsessions on scientific didacticism. Throughout college and medical school, emphasis is placed on acquiring and memorizing fact on fact until it seems the world is made up of medical minutiae and nothing else. Art, the humanities, the classics, philosophy, and other studies that might detract from learning the insertion and action of