To the Editor:
The latter half of the 19th century was a period of reform in medical education. The philosophy of education changed from memorization of a finite amount of information to a system that promoted critical thinking.1 Flexner expounded this philosophy in his 1910 survey (known as “The Flexner Report”2), a document that had a profound impact on the function and structure of medical schools in the early 20th century. Many of the changes implemented at that time persist. I agree with Dr. Kanter that premedical education is again in need of reform, but with one caveat: premedical education is but one piece of an outdated system. The changes to premedical education must be a part of changes to the entire medical education continuum. And they should be no less fundamental than Flexner’s.
Cynthia Kahn, MILS, MPH, AHIP
Reference and instruction librarian, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 Eye St., NW, Washington, DC 20037; ([email protected]).
1 Ludmerer KM. Learning to Heal: The Development of American Medical Education. Baltimore, Md: The Johns Hopkins University Press; 1985.
© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges
2 Flexner A. Medical Education in the United States and Canada. A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Bulletin no. 4. Boston, Mass: Updyke; 1910.