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January 1949

Widening Horizons in Medical Education: A Study of the Teaching of Social and Environmental Factors in Medicine, 1945-1946.

Am J Dis Child. 1949;77(1):138-139. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1949.02030040145015

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This is the report of the survey on the instruction in social and environmental factors in medicine given by the various medical schools in the Association of American Medical Colleges. The committee submitting the report represented both the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Medical Social Workers.

It is apparent that social and environmental factors in medicine have not been uniformly recognized in the curriculums of the several schools. There is apparently a tendency to relegate social factors to departments of social service and to overlook the importance of those factors in the individual patient. Perhaps the increasing emphasis on metabolic tests and physiopathologic studies has crowded out the consideration by the physician of social and environmental factors.

In any event, it would seem that the role of sociology in medicine should not, cannot, be relegated entirely to social service or to public health personnel but

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