Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 75.djvu/620

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The marble palaces which American millionaires have built for the Medical School of Harvard University are justified by their beauty. They will house part of the meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the affiliated societies during convocation week at the end of the present month, and it would be worth while for scientific men from a distance to attend the meetings if their only object were to see these beautiful and stately halls. But these buildings have not solved the complicated problems of medical education; they have, to a certain extent, fossilized the system of sequestering the medical school from the university. Reinforced cement at Cambridge might have accomplished more for training and research in the medical sciences than marble on the Boston fens.

President Eliot appears to be in large measure responsible for separating the medical school from the university both in space and time. Shortly before his retirement, he appointed a dean of the school who to a certain extent shares his views. Dean Christian, in his address at the dedication of the Medical Department of Stanford University, said that the institutions which have adopted a combined academic and medical course "have succeeded in rendering the A.B. degree of less value and significance than formerly and have sacrificed one or two years of college work while seeking to conceal this fact by the award of the two degrees, A.B. and M.D."

President Lowell, who does not hesitate to express educational theories at variance with those of his predecessor, agrees with him in wanting to base the professional schools on the college, and apparently would have the professional schools so ordered that "every college graduate ought to be equipped to enter any professional school." In his inaugural address he says: "Our law school lays great stress upon native ability and scholarly aptitude, and comparatively little upon the particular branches of learning a student has pursued in college.... Many professors of medicine, on the other hand, feel strongly that a student should enter their school with at least a rudimentary knowledge of those sciences, like chemistry, biology and physiology, which are interwoven with medical studies; and they appear to attach greater weight to this than to his natural capacity or general attainments."

It may be doubted whether in the Harvard Medical School or elsewhere there are professors who attach greater weight to rudimentary knowledge of certain sciences than to natural capacity and general attainments. But there are those in the Harvard Medical School, as appears from an extended article filling half the Harvard Bulletin for November 3, who do not approve the attitude of the administration in determining the relation between the college and the medical school. It is there argued that students in the college should be permitted to study in the college the sciences required by the medical student, as they now can the sciences preliminary to engineering, and that it should be possible for the student to complete both his college work and his medical course in six years.

President Lowell apparently wants a four-year college course, followed by