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Besides ascertaining the fitness of the candidates to practice medicine, state board examinations can also furnish a most effective stimulus to the improvement of medical education. A poor medical school would soon be forced to alter its instructions if any considerable proportion of its recent graduates should take low standing in state board examinations. To be effective, however, these examinations must be such as to differentiate sharply between the real, effective, assimilated knowledge, which can be acquired only by first-hand acquaintance with the subjects in clinic and laboratory, and the superficial, ill-understood, pseudo-knowledge procurable by memorizing quiz compends.
It is a notorious fact that a few medical schools are conducted altogether too much on this latter plan. If the examinations are also framed on the quiz-compend model, it follows that graduates of such schools will take equal or perhaps even higher standing than the graduates of schools which insist on
STATE BOARD EXAMINATIONS AND MEDICAL EDUCATION.. JAMA. 1907;XLIX(7):605. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530070075010