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March 15, 1941


JAMA. 1941;116(11):1037-1040. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820110001001

Thirty years ago in Chicago, at the seventh annual conference of the Council on Medical Education, held at the Congress Hotel, Dr. James B. Herrick1 read a paper which appeared to certain members of the audience as being quite revolutionary in character. It was entitled "The Educational Function of Hospitals and the Hospital Year." Sooner or later, Dr. Herrick asserted, a period of training in a hospital would be demanded of every American medical student before he became licensed, to practice. Difficulties in the way of such a prescribed hospital year seemed by no means insurmountable. Either one of two things soon was bound to take place: either more internships would become available to accommodate the large annual output of doctors from medical schools or the number of graduates each year would be curtailed. Of these two possibilities, it was the number of internships which seemed most likely to