Page:Hospitals, medical science and public health.djvu/34

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HOSPITALS, MEDICAL SCIENCE,

common formulas, of the capacity of swallow and regurgitation by which our examination candidates amaze us. We must seek a test not of the volume but of the design of the candidate's work, of the power and quality of the human organ we profess to have built; of the personal character informing his notions. We shall mark whether his argument signifies that his ideas were spun in his own loom, or are all warehouse goods; if in the accuracy and lucidity of his language he betrays precision and balance of thought. We shall note as highly significant such fresh observations and ideas as should offer themselves on all sides to the quickened eye, the alert intelligence, and the hand familiar with methods of precision.

Whether in current medical writing the qualities of the university graduate are as evident as they should be, it might be ungracious at present to inquire; and I must not assumes the truth of the recent complaints that English Bachelors of Science, when they visit Germany, are found to be instructed so much on books and laboratory clerking, and so little on personal initiative, that their education has to be recommenced on larger lines; I must then confine myself to one, but this a definite, test. At Cambridge, before an M.B. candidate can receive his degree, he must prove to us that, however well "stuffed" a pupil, he is able also to shew that he is not a mere mouthpiece, but in some reasonable measure has developed and realised his own personality, the orbit about which his capacity can range. Before he is admitted to graduation he must shew us not only how much he can repeat, but hidden under the pile of task and cram he must also discover himself. Plaintively as at first he may protest that his mind is only a mosaic, that he has nothing "original" about him, he has none the less to set to work on some piece of research—when to his surprise and pleasure he usually finds out that we had made something of a thinking and even a creative being of him after all; and on this discovery he goes into practice a different man. But this thesis work for the M.B. is unfortunately the boon only of Cambridge men. I have therefore to seek my test in the M.D. exercises where, if anywhere, lies the test of personal construction, as contrasted with borrowed furniture. The M.D. candidate is too old for examination, and he should be