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December 7, 1984

Medical Student Abuse

Author Affiliations

St Louis Park, Minn

JAMA. 1984;252(21):2959. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350210014012

To the Editor.—  Drs Silver and Rosenberg's1 article awakened memories of several professors and residents who used abusive techniques in their teaching of medical students. Their approach was based more on a position of authority and power rather than leadership and inspiration. My concern is that the authors did not indicate the need for persons practicing such abuse to obtain help. In medical school it was often the most abusive residents and professors who were the least secure and capable physicians and teachers. It is rarely necessary for a truly gifted teacher to stoop to using such abuse and intimidation.I am certain that much of the resistance to peer review and the failure of continued professional growth beyond our training programs stem from this pattern of teaching through intimidation. This approach creates a fear of failure that causes a sclerosis of one of the most important things a