October 11, 1985

The Harvard Way

Author Affiliations

American Embassy-Medical New York

JAMA. 1985;254(14):1904. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360140055018

To the Editor.—  Dr Walker described a phenomenon that is commonly known but seldom verbalized. There seems to be a strong relationship between academic achievement and insensitive behavior. Fortunately, there are many exceptions to this generalization. Those academicians who should be most concerned about this trend are often oblivious or indifferent.Personal qualities in medical education are not always ignored. In addition to academic qualifications, medical admissions committees try to assess personal qualities of applicants. It is just as common for applicants to be aware of the personal characteristics of the professors, residency, or school to which they are applying. For example, physicians frequently stereotype different medical specialists. Surgeons are described differently from pediatricians. In choosing medical schools or residencies, the informal information gained through casual conversations is often as important as the academic reputation.Applicants should interview the schools at the same time they are being interviewed. They should