Frontiers of Medicine: A History of Medical Education and Research at the University of Alberta

By Elise A. Corbet | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Medical Education

History of medical education in Canada: undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education at the University of Alberta

IN 1968, a symposium on the history of medical education took place at the University of California in Los Angeles. Even though it was a time of intense scrutiny and revision for medical education, the first conclusion reached by the symposium was that "the present concern with medical education ... and methods of teaching do not represent a solely modern phenomenon. The problem has existed from the time of medicine's origin." 1 More recent controversies can be traced in certain key analyses. Philippe Pinel wrote an essay in 1793 on the clinical training of physicians in France, where medical education was undergoing radical changes. 2 Sir William Osler addressed the medical faculty at McGill University in 1895 on the subject "Teaching and Thinking: The Two Functions of a Medical School," and discussed the dramatic changes taking place, including incorporation of medical education into university programmes. 3 In 1920, J.J.R. Macleod, of insulin fame, wrote: "there has been for some years a feeling among the medical profession that all is not well with the stereotyped medical college curriculum."4 An editorial in the January 1933 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, bearing the title "The Problem of Medical Education," represented similar titles found in any given year in this or any other medical journal of the period. This particular editorial referred to a series of contemporary articles published in "The Lancet", the publication of the British Medical Association, under the general heading

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