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April 1929


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery of the Medical School of the University of Illinois.

Arch Surg. 1929;18(4):1562-1569. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1929.01140130658042

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The present system of medical education has many virtues, and many of its evils are inherent in the variable natures of individual students and professors. The four years of preclinical study make certain that the students are exposed thoroughly to the sciences that are the foundation of the profession. If it is complained that these subjects are taught by men who know little of practical medicine, it can be said with equal justice that for this reason they are probably taught with greater thoroughness. And to those who say that it is absurd to spend four years on these and then but two on the art that is so long to learn, it can be answered that the students will spend the rest of their lives in acquiring clinical experience, whereas but few will refer again to their preclinical textbooks. In defense of his lectures, quizzes and cramming, the clinical

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