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March 2015

The Evolution of Dermatology Grand Rounds: From Alibert to Osler

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(3):310. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.3899

Grand rounds (GR) is one of the key components of dermatology training and continuing education. In a recent study, GR was found to be among the most popular and well-run educational activities in dermatology programs across the United States.1 One of the earliest documentations of dermatology lectures to large groups of physician and trainees are those of Baron Jean-Louis Alibert (1768-1837). Alibert is known as one of the fathers of French dermatology and was the first physician to study skin disease at the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris. Alibert became very well known for his teaching, and, in addition to trainees and young physicians, esteemed and experienced physicians would often attend his clinic to learn from him. He would teach large groups of people in the Pavillion Gabrielle at the Hôpital Saint-Louis, but eventually his audience outgrew this space. He moved his lessons outside under the lime trees next to the Pavillion Gabrielle and taught in the fashion of Greek philosophers. He hung paintings of various skin diseases from the lime trees and called patients, wearing signs indicating their diagnoses, up to the wooden platform from which he presented the patients in a theatrical manner to his audience.2

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