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January 13, 1984

XIX. Medical Education: The Decade of Massive Change

Author Affiliations

From the Morris Fishbein Center, University of Chicago.

JAMA. 1984;251(2):219-224. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340260027021

For 2,500 years medicine has had three mutually dependent aspects. First (and foremost) is practice. This, simply stated, means making sick people well and keeping well people from getting sick. It also included what the older physicians called hygiene and we call public health and preventive medicine. Second, we have science. I do not want to go into the meaning of this word but will refer only to the branches important for medicine—anatomy, physiology, pathology, chemistry, and the like. Third, we have education, the transmission of knowledge and skills to the young who will in turn become physicians.

These three components act one on the other. Improvement in science brings about changes in practice, which in turn lead to needed readjustments in education. Better education can then result in better science and better practice. Better practice, along with its other advantages, opens more opportunities for improved science. The circular interactions