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October 28, 1968

What's Happening to Clinical Teaching?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

JAMA. 1968;206(5):1073-1074. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150050061014

Clinical teaching is passé. On what do I base that statement? Nineteen years of sincere and interested involvement in medical student teaching. Most deans and medical school officials have spent their time acquiring federal grants and building research institutes and physical structures to the neglect of developing and supporting teachers in medicine.

When a new department chairman is to be appointed, the search committee almost never inquires as to the individual's teaching capabilities or his interest in this dimension. The officials are concerned with how much grant money he can bring with him, how has he done with governmental grantsmanship, and what are his possibilities for the future along these lines.

Ask any young faculty member as to what criteria are used in his institution for promotions and they will all say the "weight" and number of research papers, not necessarily the quality. This promotion rarely is based on whether or not he has done a good job teaching or carries a heavy clinical service load. Their future depends on research production and, when their time is at a premium, the