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Sept 21, 1984

The Medical School in the University

Author Affiliations

President The Johns Hopkins University
From The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1984;252(11):1455-1457. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350110055031

EDUCATION in medicine has been part of the university mission since almost the very beginnings of the Western university nearly a millennium ago. One may wonder whether and why the role of the medical school is even topical. I believe that some not so subtle, and not so minor, changes have altered the role of medicine in the university, and that it is at least useful and at most necessary to appraise this transformation, even while it is still in process.

It has become apparent that faculties of medicine have become involved in a migration from the center of the university toward some location on the perimeter. My initial assumption about this observation was that this was merely one natural, unavoidable component of the ongoing fragmentation of knowledge into an ever more complex constellation of specialties. We have, after all, long been aware that the impact of rapid advances in