Because of the fact that in the practice of medicine no physician can avoid contact with the law, it is important that medical students have basic instruction in regard to their legal duties to patients, their communities, and their government by the time they receive their professional degrees. Furthermore, they should also possess sound basic knowledge of the pathology of trauma.
On the basis of an analysis made in 19521 of what is being taught in the field of legal medicine, a Committee on Medicolegal Problems of the American Medical Association obtained information suggesting the need for additional emphasis on this field in some institutions. At that time 15 schools had departments of legal medicine and 7 schools offered elective courses only. Of the remaining institutions, 6 schools offered electives in addition to the required basic course in legal medicine, 5 offered comprehensive graduate courses, 16 presented undergraduate instruction