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February 22, 1965

Basic Science Education Called Problem for Medical Schools

JAMA. 1965;191(8):33-38. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080080091051

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Educating medical students in the basic sciences is a serious problem for medical schools, participants in the 61st annual Congress on Medical Education, held Feb 6 and 7 in Chicago, were told.

The Congress was sponsored by the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association.

John R. Brobeck, MD, PhD, professor of physiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said the rapid technological advances of recent years tend to produce the problem of "instant obsolescence."

"Most of us spend no more than two years of our medical education in close contact with fundamental medical sciences," Brobeck said. "In this time we are supposed to learn enough about biochemistry, physiology, and the others to last us through perhaps 40 years of medical practice—at a time when these sciences are changing significantly every five to seven years."

Scientific knowledge is advancing so rapidly, he continued, that "The scientific

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