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THE VALUE OF THE CONVERSATIONAL METHOD OF MEDICAL INSTRUCTION.THE "STUDENTS' CONFERENCE"

JOSEPH McFARLAND, M.D.
JAMA. 1904;XLIII(7):449-451. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500070001b.
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ABSTRACT

The methods of medical pedagogy have undergone many changes during the last twenty-five years, the most important being that the antiquated didactic method of teaching has in a large measure given place to practical, clinical and laboratory teaching. Some excellent authorities now advocate the complete abandonment of the didactic method, recommending that in its place certain text-book readings shall be assigned to the student, and that demonstrations and conferences between the teachers and pupils covering this subject-matter shall constitute the essential part of the instruction. It has always seemed to me illogical to entirely do away with the didactic method, which I believe occupies an important and indispensable place in medical pedagogy; first, because there are many subjects that can be far better treated didactically than practically; second, because new and controversial matters can be far better summarized and treated by the professor whose business it is to familiarize himself

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