Dr Charles H. Mayo was invited to speak at the laying of the cornerstone of the Montgomery Ward Memorial Medical-Dental Building at his alma mater, Northwestern University, in Chicago, Ill, on June 11, 1926. He chose as his topic “Problems in Medical Education.”
The educational product, of necessity, will be, as it always has been, dependent on the ability of its instructors and teachers to inspire and the capacity of its students to emulate. The study of medicine and dentistry but plants the roots of knowledge; it does not make brains, but merely molds them and equips them for more and greater work. Medicine gives only to those who give, but her reward for those who serve is “finer than much fine gold.”
The high purpose of true medical education is to fit the student to think in medicine; in fact, it can be said that education is a failure in that degree that it fails to train the student to reason and develop judgment as he acquires knowledge of disease and treatment and prevention as applied to the individual case.
Let there be education in medicine commensurate to instruction; let the young physician be sound in the fundamentals, so that he may see his problem as it is, and his duty to himself, his patients, and the science of medicine. Only so will he be able to comprehend the unity of the living organism and view the picture of disease from all its aspects; only so will he measure up to his opportunities and take his proper place in the march of human kind toward perfection.
These quotations are derived from Mayo CH. Problems in medical education, in Mellish MH, Logie HB, Eigenmann CE, eds. Collected Papers of The Mayo Clinic and The Mayo Foundation. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co; 1926;1093–1102. This feature is part of a series of vignettes presented by Dr Habermann as Mayo Clinic Department of Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on October 4, 2000. The vignettes are drawn from numerous original source documents and photographs, many of which have not been published before.
This project is funded in part by a Mayo Center for Humanities in Medicine grant from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Jacksonville, Fla, and Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
© 2001 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.