Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 75.djvu/74

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
70
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

taking such a course in physics as has been recommended, should have had algebra, plane geometry and plane trigonometry. These courses come normally within the province of any good high school program. For advanced work in physics, solid geometry and higher mathematics are needed. For the benefit of medical students the mathematical requirement in certain special courses in physics is made as light as possible. It may be noted, however, that in the college course for future medical students outlined by Johns Hopkins University, the study of mathematics extends through two years.

Psychology.—Although psychology is a college study directly related to medicine, it appears that no medical school has yet required it for admission. A course in psychology often begins with a summary account of the nervous system and sense organs, and proceeds with the study of the states of consciousness. It discusses sensations and the nature of pain, and deals with instincts, memory, habits and the will. It gives the student a good understanding of "treatment by suggestion" and is a foundation for the study of abnormal minds, especially of hallucinations, illusions and delusions. Some knowledge of child development and an insight into sexual instincts, neurasthenia and psychasthenia are afforded by such a course. It is important for parts of physiology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and particularly for neurology and psychiatry. A half-course in psychology is therefore recommended.

French and German.—Since much of the progress of medicine is recorded in French and German publications, it is desirable, and in several schools it is required, that students should be able to read both of these languages. A beginning should be made before entering college. Courses in general literature, with practise in writing and speaking, will be found more profitable than those which are restricted to reading scientific prose. The importance of French and German in medicine is indicated by the number of periodicals in these languages for which medical libraries subscribe. The figures for the scientific libraries at the Harvard Medical School and for the Boston Medical Library, which is used largely by practitioners, are as follows:

Subscriptions for Periodicals

English French German
Harvard Medical Libraries 110 35 109
Boston Medical Library 88 67 161
198 102 270
 

Since this medical literature should be at the command of students and practitioners, and is indispensable for investigators, it is necessary to be able to read both French and German.

Other Foreign Languages.—Although important medical articles