Abraham flexner and medical education

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Abstract

The Flexner Report had its roots in the recognition in the mid-19th century that medical knowledge is not something fixed but something that grows and evolves.This new view of medical knowledge led to a recasting of the goal of medical education as that of instilling the proper techniques of acquiring and evaluating information rather than merely inculcating facts through rote memorization.Abraham Flexner, a brilliant educator, had the background to understand and popularize the meaning of this new view of education, and he took the unprecedented step of relating the developments in medical education to the ideas of John Dewey and the progressive education movement. Although the Flexner Report is typically viewed as a historical document-due to an understandable tendency to refer only to the second half of the report, where Flexner provides his famous critiques of the medical schools that existed at the time-this article argues that the Flexner Report is actually a living educational document of as much significance to medical educators today as in Flexner's time.The article analyzes Flexner's discussion of medical education and shows that his message- the importance of academic excellence, professional leadership, proper financial support, and service and altruism-is timeless, as applicable to the proper education of physicians today and tomorrow as in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalPerspectives in Biology and Medicine
Volume54
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

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