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March 1961

Behavioral Science CoursesTheir Function and Relevance in Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine (Neurology); Max, Martha, and Alfred M. Stern Fellow in Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The development of such a course was generously supported by a pilot grant (2M-6391) from the National Institutes of Mental Health, United States Public Health Service, and a Mental Health Career Teacher Fellowship (Dr. Weiner) from the same agency.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(3):307-315. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710090093012

This paper attempts to examine a current trend in undergraduate medical education: the introduction of behavioral science courses in the curriculum of medical schools.29,30,33 It will discuss the definition, relevance to medical education, aims and purposes of such a course and indicate the questions which first need to be asked before embarking on such innovation.11 A detailed proposal for a behavioral science course is offered with a rationale for the inclusion of specific material.

Some Current Problems in Medical Education  About 10 years ago a group of eminent educators outlined minimum standards for preclinical courses in psychiatry. It was suggested that these courses include material on personality development and psychopathology to be given by clinicians.9,17 Since that time there has been an increasing interest in broadening the scope of such courses to include behavioral science content. Some of the historical reasons for

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