An Estimable Legacy

Carlos J. M. Martini, MD, MPH, MSc, FFCM
JAMA. 1990;264(7):795-797. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450070023003.
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The MEDICAL EDUCATION ISSUE of JAMA was initially published 89 years ago, on September 21, 1901. It was also the first time that The Journal reported medical education statistical data, with information from 154 medical schools, 26 417 medical students, and 5958 medical school teachers. The editorial in that 1901 issue might well have been written today.

The progress of medical education in the United States is one of the most remarkable phases of modern culture that has been observed during the past 15 years. For the motives of this progress we are obliged to look in various directions: to the enormous increase in wealth that has marked our mastery over the physical resources of the earth through modern machinery, to the equally unexpected increase in our knowledge of diseases through the general scientific advancement, and, lastly, to the coincident revival of a science and art of pedagogy.

These general


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