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October 11, 1985

The Harvard Way

Author Affiliations

The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center The Pennsylvania State University Hershey

JAMA. 1985;254(14):1903-1904. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360140055016

To the Editor.—  I read with a great deal of sadness Dr S. Walker's1 "The Harvard Way" in the March 15 issue of JAMA. The feelings Dr Walker expressed are a stinging indictment of what I feel to be archaic attitudes in graduate medical education. For some reason, physicians who are supposed to epitomize compassion and sensitivity tend to design training programs that are the antithesis of such desirable attributes. Residents work long hours for little pay. They are expected to withstand severe psychological and physical trials, and, instead of getting support and encouragement from their teachers, they receive stinging rebukes and are made to feel worthless and incompetent. I feel there is no reason for this. Providing residents with excellent education does not mean that they have to be subjected to such psychological battering that traditionalists seem to feel necessary in order to "toughen up" young physicians. High-quality