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Article
April 14, 1956

FILLING THE GAP BETWEEN ACADEMIC MEDICINE AND MEDICAL PRACTICE

JAMA. 1956;160(15):1298-1303. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960500028008
Abstract

• The attitudes of the teacher and of the practitioner of medicine diverge inevitably despite their dedication to a common cause. There tends to be a dichotomy between those whose chief devotion and occupation is the teaching of medicine and those whose chief devotion and occupation is the cure and treatment of individual patients. Although the dichotomy is frequently not complete and absolute, there is an essential difference in the type of occupation and a resultant difference in interests.

The differences have been exaggerated by certain aspects of the whole-time system. This represents a form of intellectual inbreeding that is wholly undesirable. It entails financial relations between doctors and institutions that are a source of divisive emotions. Those few medical schools and university hospitals that employ no part-time teachers or staff should abandon this system. University hospitals should abandon the intern year and should advise recent graduates to have the experience of a year in nonuniversity hospitals. Medical schools and university hospitals should give a warmer welcome and a more nearly equal status to their part-time teachers. Measures of this sort can bring the academic group and the practicing profession into much closer and happier relations.

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