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June 1993

Are We Educating a Medical Professional Who Cares?

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of Washington School of Medicine General Pediatric Service and Medical Clinic Children's Hospital and Medical Center 4800 Sand Point Way NE Seattle, WA 98105

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(6):612-613. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160300018013

Sir.—In an article published in the November 1992 issue of AJDC Petersdorf and Turner1 speak of "Students [who] become study machines... thought to be interested only in courses they believe will ensure their admission to medical school." They also suggest that faculties may not ". correlate it [basic sciences] with the care of future patients." They state, "Our system of medical education has always recognized the importance of physicians having a firm grounding in basic science, followed by a period of supervised, hands-on instruction."

I submit that therein lies part of the problem. I agree with the four "domains" suggested by the authors, but for a physician to practice well, there must be an integration of the domains, not compartmentalization. One of the problems in medical education is that the curriculum is separated into basic sciences perceived to be important, and then separated into clinical care. The personal characteristics