Page:Hospitals, medical science and public health.djvu/27

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AND PUBLIC HEALTH

matters, irresistible. At any rate, as things are, it has my sincere sympathy.

There is, however, no inconsiderable part of our profession which goes not quite so far. This party, while still regarding the curriculum as narrowly from the technical point of view, would, however, hold back the university degree for a minority of candidates who have distended their minds with a bigger content; though still of technical stuff. With this party I have less sympathy, little or none. If for mere technical instruction the world compels us to give the seal of a university—that seal which ought to attest a disinterested education, aiming chiefly at the making of the man himself—well, we have the recognised excuse of duress. For in the past technical medicine has edged its way into the machinery of the universities as no other technical instruction has done. Save in this anomalous case of medicine, universities have never regarded themselves as engines for the manufacture of professional men as such. The parson is made in the seminary and the parish; the lawyer in chambers and court; the soldier in the field; the engineer in the workshop, and so on. To none of these does the university give the seal of practical expertness; it testifies to the individual development only. By this anomaly in medicine our conception of a liberal education has been so warped, or at any rate so confused, that university degrees on diploma standards may be inevitable. But. I repeat, I can feel no sympathy with the party which, by withholding the degree until as much of this erroneous conception as possible may be accumulated, would give our principles away more completely, and force the universities to the manufacture of pedants. For the more intense the specialism the deeper and broader must be the universal foundation. The function of the university is to make the man, and to open his mind to many-sided views; and if the man be but half made—I am speaking, of course, of the average student, not of the genius who makes himself—the greater burden upon his back serves but to exhibit the slightness of his frame. A technical instruction cannot by mere length and toughness become a liberal education; yet herein the Sheffield discussion reminded me of the old comparison between rheumatism and gout: turn the thumbscrew till the pain is intolerable and you have rheumatism; give it another turn or two and you have gout. So with