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August 8, 1986

Learning How to Learn: The Goal of House Staff Training

JAMA. 1986;256(6):756. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380060082031

The two articles by Drs Shanke1 and Mazzaferri1 and Drs Parrino and Villanueva2 on house staff training in this issue of The Journal should be useful to anyone who is concerned about the quality of the next generation of physicians. They relate the results of surveys of teaching programs that indicate the perceived value of various cherished activities that, when added together, make up house staff training.

Having observed the exciting scene known as house staff training for 30 years, I believe the following: The objective of any educational system is to encourage those who are participating in the effort to learn how to learn and to be sensitive to interpersonal relationships.

House officers must learn how to learn medicine, and they must also learn how to deliver what they know to the satisfaction of their patients, colleagues, the public, and themselves. Furthermore, they must maintain these goals