Medical Education and Some of its Problems


    BY a time-honoured ordinance the opening of the medical session at the beginning of October is made the occasion for the delivery of inaugural addresses at the various of medicine. In London, medical education is in a somewhat transitional stage, and it may be interesting to inquire whether the addresses delivered shed any light on the problems that have to be solved. At the present time in London there is a need for concentration of the preliminary and intermediate studies, chemistiy, biology, anatomy, and physiology, taken during the first two years of the curriculum, and until recently taught in every medical school. Now these are scientific subjects, and could more efficiently and less expensively be conducted in fewer centres with better equipped laboratories than has hitherto been the case. In this way it would be possible for some, at least, of the medical schools to devote all their energies and funds to the professional training of the last three years of the curriculum. Various plans have been suggested for effecting this. Some years ago, a scheme for a central institute at South Kensington for teaching the preliminary and intermediate subjects was inaugurated. It was an ambitious scheme requiring some 200,000l. for its realisation, and though in theory a good one, is probably not the best practical one for London. London is too large to have a single centre; and University and King's Colleges, and one or two of the medical schools, have definitely decided to continue teaching the preliminary subjects. Moreover, by a recent vote of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of London, the scheme of a Central Institute at South Kensington has been negatived, and the former policy reversed.

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