September 1968

Our Obsolete Residencies

Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(3):279-280. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00300080087018

The need to graduate more physicians has been widely acknowledged in this country, most recently in a joint statement issued by the American Medical Association and the American Association of Medical Colleges.1 Three major recommendations are usually made: that new medical schools be built, that existing schools be expanded, and that the period of time spanned by college and medical school be reduced from eight years to six.

These steps are undoubtedly important. Yet there is another approach of great potential value which has thus far received little attention. This is the shortening of graduate medical education, ie, the education a physician pursues subsequent to his graduation from medical school.

Whereas most suggestions for ways to increase the number of physicians call for a more or less voluntary commitment on the part of medical schools, consideration of this step appears to be inevitable. It will be forced on the

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