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April 22, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(16):852-855. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450430006001a

There are three fallacies in our present method of teaching: 1, a large public clinic for so-called practical clinical instruction; 2, a main reliance upon didactic methods in all branches; 3, an old-style dissectingroom.

The time was when the didactic lecture, reviewing and condensing, was absolutely necessary; the lecturer had to do the weeding, culling the essentials for presentation to the class. As a result, the museum preparations, apparatus, illustrative charts and other means of instruction were confined closely to the shelves as adjuncts to the didactic methods only; attendance upon which, and a knowledge of which were the sole requirements for graduation. The professor himself (Deus in machina), dignified and learned, the sole authority upon his branch, came out from the seclusion of his study at the lecture hour to speak the winged word to his class, and as solemnly returned to his isolation. Well educated, he was supreme;

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