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August 10, 1970

New Philosophies in Medical Education: Their Effect on Recognition of Competence

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Educational Services and Research (Dr. Hess) and the Department of Psychiatry (Dr. Levitt), Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit.

JAMA. 1970;213(6):1009-1012. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170320037007

It is possible to look upon the multitude of changes occurring in medical education today as arising from one of two broad philosophical trends. The first is grounded in a combination of intuition, logic, and practical expedience. The second has its roots in behavioral science and educational research.

The characteristics of what we will call the intuitive approach can be briefly summarized as follows: A feeling arises in one or several people in a medical school that the educational program is not as good as it might be if things were done differently. When the groundswell gains sufficient support in the power structure of the school, a committee is appointed to study the matter. The committee usually reviews what is going on in its own school and may well survey the programs of other schools in search of new ideas. A new curriculum is proposed, the pros and cons are