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June 23, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(8):697-699. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970080027009

• Interdepartmental teaching is one possible solution to the problems that arise from the increasing specialization within the faculties of medical schools. Unless these problems are solved, medical education will become progressively more fragmented and disjointed.

The plan involves the creation of multidiscipline laboratories, in which a student has individual working space that is available to him 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The plan includes free time, supervised research projects, prolonged personal contacts between the student and individual patients, an intramural system of clinical preceptorship, and a redistribution of the traditional content of the medical curriculum into subject areas selected by the faculty.

The initiation of this plan has required much time and effort, and its efficient administration is of the greatest importance. Once it is in operation, however, it requires no more instructor time than traditional department courses, and it helps the student to think like a physician from the start of his medical education.