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The methods of medical pedagogy have undergone many changes during the last twenty-five years, the most important being that the antiquated didactic method of teaching has in a large measure given place to practical, clinical and laboratory teaching. Some excellent authorities now advocate the complete abandonment of the didactic method, recommending that in its place certain text-book readings shall be assigned to the student, and that demonstrations and conferences between the teachers and pupils covering this subject-matter shall constitute the essential part of the instruction. It has always seemed to me illogical to entirely do away with the didactic method, which I believe occupies an important and indispensable place in medical pedagogy; first, because there are many subjects that can be far better treated didactically than practically; second, because new and controversial matters can be far better summarized and treated by the professor whose business it is to familiarize himself
McFARLAND J. THE VALUE OF THE CONVERSATIONAL METHOD OF MEDICAL INSTRUCTION.THE "STUDENTS' CONFERENCE". JAMA. 1904;XLIII(7):449-451. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500070001b