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JAMA 100 Years Ago
November 12, 2008


JAMA. 2008;300(18):2191. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.538

In “An Address to Students,” the London Lancet1 points to some of the problems at present confronting the London medical colleges. All the twelve medical schools affiliated with the University of London continue to teach the fundamental branches—anatomy, physiology and chemistry—with the result that several of the schools have classes which are pitiably small. In some instances the teachers are miserably paid and there are not sufficient funds for the needed equipment for laboratories and demonstrations. There is also much duplication and triplication of courses so that the University of London seems to be suffering from an excess of machinery. It is claimed also that undue importance is attached to these fundamental branches. Anatomy, physiology and chemistry are of much importance and for special cases deserve the fullest attention, but for the average student are chiefly to be studied for the bearing which they have on the practice of medicine and surgery. At present much is being taught in those subjects which is of no direct use to the medical student. Again, so extensive has become the domain of medical knowledge that a general adjustment of the medical curriculum seems necessary owing to its present overloaded character. . . .