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June 3, 1974

The Art of Learning Medicine

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1974;228(10):1303. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230350073049

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The artist wife of a practicing psychiatrist, May Lesser, armed herself with pen and pencil, brush and burin, and followed the medical school class of 1971 of the University of California in Los Angeles throughout its four years. Her experiences in every department of the medical learning process is shown brilliantly within this collection of more than 300 scenes from clinics, dissecting rooms, laboratories, and operating rooms.

This remarkable record succeeds in capturing the heart of the educational process in almost effortless manner; the atmospheres, the intensities of the students, the inner earnestness inspire her drawings. Lesser becomes the soul of the student, always serious, always intense, and physicians who review these drawings, etchings, and paintings will recognize, sometimes painfully, the accuracy of her observations.

Starting as an accomplished draftsman, mature from the beginning, her work, nevertheless, acquires depth and grasp as she progresses with the class. Late drawings have