Page:Hospitals, medical science and public health.djvu/28

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HOSPITALS, MEDICAL SCIENCE,

study: by turning the screw beyond the already exacting pressure of the medical schools we are to convert the technical into a university education. Wince from the truth as we may, a liberal or university education is primarily of different scope, and means a different method and course, not at the end of the curriculum but from the beginning; the professional school, however exacting, educates the average physician not otherwise in principle than the clerical seminary educates the average clergyman.

But, it may be urged, if we can entrust a university with our technical training, and can set an hospital in the" middle of it, shall we not get the best of both worlds? Will not universal methods and scholarly standards mould the technical methods on lines which, if not as generous as could be wished, may yet be fairly ample? Can we not by modifying university standards and forcing up technical machinery attain a certain efficacious mean? Now it is a little irksome to me to contest this proposition, for in former addresses, before audiences too much wedded to abstract academic methods and prone to edge away from concrete processes, processes which no laboratory ingenuity can imitate or even conceive, I have urged that, Antaeus-like, knowledge must continually be recharged by earth contacts. Universities are no longer to be the cloisters of subtle and fastidious persons, observing the wind, and all a little afraid of each other. Albeit this return to the realities of life is not to be for the accommodation of mean positions, but for the achievement of higher standards and still wider knowledge. The mean position, as social history tells us, and biologists are illustrating, is a position not of advance, not of growth, but of retrogression. As Professor E. H. Starling said, we cannot get a quart into a pint pot; but by these measures I would figure, not the potential capacity of the student, but the stricter capacities of our respective methods. Not by any shift can a pint method be dilated into a quart method; the pot may be filled to the pint peg only, if no more can be afforded, but if it is to hold a quart it must be designed on the lines of the quart from the commencement.

There is no escape then from the unpalatable truth that if a liberal education, the education of a university, the making of the man, is to preside over the making of the particular