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November 7, 1966

Who Teaches Physiological Chemistry?

JAMA. 1966;198(6):678-679. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110190160050

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To the Editor:—  With his recent article, "Who Teaches Physiological Chemistry?" (197:409, 1966), Samuel P. Bessman, MD, will undoubtedly have succeeded in raising the hackles of his fellow American biochemists. My initial reaction was one of less than unqualified acceptance, but after thinking more about the situation I would certainly have to agree that there is a serious problem, and that to some degree the conclusions which he reaches as to possible solutions are correct. His argument suffers, however, from what appear to me to be some historical inaccuracies and some defects in logic.The Flexner Report certainly had a most important effect in making possible the tremendous developments in basic biochemistry. It assured biochemistry of an increased number of academic homes in which biochemists could make their own choice of areas of research which they believed would be most fruitful in developing an understanding of biochemical mechanisms. Through