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July 18, 1977

Education for What?A Decalogue for Change

JAMA. 1977;238(3):232-235. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280030040019

PUBLIC commitment to health and medicine is great and growing. Health protection and health care appear high on the agenda of our nation's domestic business. Each day, newspaper headlines warn us of new threats to health and the imposition or relaxation of controls by the Food and Drug Administration or the Environmental Protection Agency. Just recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) subpoenaed members of 11 medical specialty boards to determine whether any of these boards have violated federal laws regarding competition by illegally restraining the supply of physicians or health services. And there is much more.

What does this mean? Is medical education seriously affected? Is it playing its most appropriate role in all of this? Is public regulation antithetical to educational freedom and professional responsibility? Can the needs and expectations of each be achieved in concert, or are they isolated, independent considerations?

In a democratic, pluralistic society such as