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June 12, 1987

The Teaching Nursing Home: A Golden Annex to the Ivory Tower

JAMA. 1987;257(22):3119-3120. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390220117035

In a recent issue of The Journal, Schneider and colleagues1 detail a remarkable increase, during the 1980s, in the number of teaching nursing homes. Additionally, they examine the reasons for this proliferation and speculate on future developments.

I find their report encouraging, having not long ago participated in the planning and placement of a nursing home within the walls of a teaching hospital. At the time of that endeavor, I was astonished by the passion with which some educators and many trainees argued against it. Their reservations fell into two categories: (1) doubts about the feasibility of conducting high-quality research in the nursing home setting and (2) the perception that caring for nursing home residents contributes little to the educational process.

Schneider et al1 report that the majority of teaching nursing homes today have active research programs, examining dementia, infectious diseases, and other geriatric issues. Scientific investigation is