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The student "must see the master in action" said Billroth, than whom there was no greater clinical teacher, and Osler later insisted on having the students in the ward at the bedside. Curiously enough, modern teaching has drifted away from this fundamental principle; now there is usually a rigid and formal presentation of the patient's case, whereupon teacher and students leave the ward and the instructor gives a talk which could take place just as well in the amphitheater. At the same time that this absurd declension from the elementary principles of teaching medicine is going on, violent efforts are made on all sides artificially to "make things more graphic for the student"—hence audiovisual aids, television, groups, and panels. The Practitioners' Conferences in present book, says the preface, "have as their intent bedside teaching." To think that such a Barmecide feast could possibly replace bedside teaching surely declares the state
Bloomfield AL. Practitioners' Conferences, Held at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Vol. 3.. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(1):126-127. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250250132028