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I have been involved in ophthalmic medical education at various levels for over 20 years, and sadly, before reading The Bench and Me, I had never read a book on medical education. I suspect that my experience is not unique. Hurst's short exposition on his philosophy and technique of teaching provides a pleasant opportunity to change that. Hurst, a well-known cardiologist and former head of the medicine department (1957-1986) at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga, readily transmits his obviousjoy at learning and teaching.
The "bench" in the title refers to the statement made by President James Garfield in 1871 about the importance of a "true teacher." President Garfield said, "Give me a log hut, with only a single bench, Mark Hopkins on one end and I on the other, and you may have all of the buildings, apparatus, and libraries without him." Mark Hopkins, then President of Williams College, Williamstown, Mass,