The basis of modern medicine is science, and the lifeblood of science is research. Medical students, obviously, must have a substantial background of science information, in a variety of disciplines. But should they participate in research? Many schools offer strong encouragement—fellowships for summer devotion and prizes for meritorious results. The encouragement becomes intensified as the student makes progress through his residency.
But why? Why emphasize research for students and for physicians in the early years of training? The possible answers are many but they fall into two main groups which we can call the "objective" and "subjective" benefits.
The "objective" benefits indicate the positive and concrete advances in knowledge that result from the efforts. Science must progress, and if it merely stands still, it shrivels and dies. Just as a living creature must continually take in new nourishment, so the body of science must continually receive new knowledge which can