Doctor Dock: Teaching and Learning Medicine at the Turn of the Century

Lester S. King, MD
JAMA. 1987;258(7):972. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400070110050.
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George Dock, a leading internist in the first quarter of this century, had left us an unexpected legacy, but only now has it come to light. For eight years, from about 1900 to 1908, he had taught medical diagnosis to fourth-year students at the University of Michigan. This he did through clinics and small-group instruction. In these weekly exercises a stenographer made verbatim transcripts of everything said—by Dock, the patients, and the students. These records fill some 6800 pages. Dr Davenport, emeritus professor of physiology, has sifted this material and thereby given us an unusual picture of medical instruction, as provided some 80 years ago.

Davenport first discusses briefly the medical school and its outstanding place in medical education. Then he takes up the material presented in the conferences, which, in the aggregate, covered virtually all of internal medicine. Davenport makes his presentation not by taking up individual cases in


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