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Organizing House Officers

Fitzhugh Mullan, MD
JAMA. 1970;214(1):115-117. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180010057012.
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Working with an acutely ill patient late at night on the back wards of a city hospital, with no nursing care, minimal laboratory support, and pathological conditions that should have been noticed months before were there adequate screening clinics, the young intern or resident feels far removed from the process of medical education. Even under the relatively more auspicious circumstances under which most house officers pass their period of post-graduate training, there is the sense of being removed from the structured and formalistically didactic medical school situation. Its demands, its rewards, its circumstances, and its style combine to make house officership an experience relatively more involved and less pristine than its undergraduate predecessor. There is no debate that house officership is an educational experience, but unlike medical school, it is also a service experience and a commitment of work to patient and community alike.

It is heartening that the Council


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