With Bakke behind us, other major trends in medical education are on the agenda for critical appraisal. An inventory of the factors that influence teaching programs naturally includes diagnostic innovations, new drugs, budget constraints, alumni pressures, and community needs, as well as scores of other factors. Three developments that have begun to exert influence in the past few years are the Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX), the teaching of medical ethics, and federal rules concerning handicapped faculty and students. The first and second are positive and healthy programs that can only benefit our patients in years to come, but the third, which is forcing the admission or employment of handicapped persons, may be an unwise intrusion into academic policymaking by the federal government.
A decade ago a license to practice medicine was obtained by passing a state board examination or, in some states, an examination administered by the National