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August 28, 1981

The Medical School Experience

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore

JAMA. 1981;246(9):940. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320090016017

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To the Editor.—  David J. Bressler provides some interesting and accurate insights into the contemporary medical school experience in his COMMENTARY "Notes From Overground: Fourth Year at Harvard Medical School" (1981;245:1637). However, I wonder how different his experience was by virtue of his being a student at Harvard. Believe it or not, babies are delivered, suicide attempts are treated, and secrets are told at every medical school in the country, and "pretense and hierarchy" are not exclusively within the province of the major research schools. Moreover, I anticipate that in response to his article there will be some that follow with such titles as "Third Year at Johns Hopkins," "Second Year at Duke," and "First Year at Yale," none of which would relate any experiences substantially different from those shared by medical students everywhere. Mr Bressler may have become infected with the same institutional pretense he decries.