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November 16, 1957


Author Affiliations


From the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 1957;165(11):1373-1376. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980290013003

There is much that is inconsistent and irrational in the present methods of training surgeons. The old preceptorial method produced narrowly trained, tradition-bound specialists; the modern internship produces a man qualified, according to the license granted him by his state board, for the practice of medicine and surgery in general, but hardly prepared to give the best type of surgical care. A sufficiently thorough training is imperative for men who plan to go into general surgery, and a thorough training in general surgery is imperative for men who plan to go into surgical specialties. Neither need can be satisfied by civilian hospitals in the face of the constantly decreasing number of surgical ward beds. It can be satisfied by military and Veterans Administration hospitals, which are frequently filled with patients who do not have service-connected disabilities. The relation of civilian to military and Veterans Administration hospitals should be strengthened, and their resources from the standpoint of surgical training should be pooled. This will make it possible, without any lowering of standards, to train more young men in general surgery while also providing the experience in general surgery that is essential for the training of the surgical specialist.