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August 13, 1904

The Clinical Teaching Pendulum Has Swung Too Far.

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(7):484. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500070044023

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Philadelphia, July 29, 1904.

To the Editor:  —My experience with students has convinced me that we have swung a little too far in the direction of clinical teaching; that at the present time we are giving them too few systematic ideas in regard to disease. The picture of disease as presented to them in a single clinical case may show but a few of the characteristic evidences of the malady, and may differ widely from the usual and ordinary. The student needs in the first place to acquire a thorough outline of the average case; after that he can apply with greater advantage his knowledge to the individual. The clinical lecturer as a rule lays especial emphasis on the symptoms of the case before him, which may be very misleading, or at least, imperfect.

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