Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 75.djvu/71

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who has learned how to cut and stain sections for microscopic examination will be at considerable advantage. Some medical schools give courses in this "microscopic technic," but the time is better spent in studying sections than in preparing them. It has been found by Professor Waite that the better medical schools afford less time for this subject than inferior schools. A college course in which the chief tissues are prepared and studied is therefore recommended.

Embryology, which deals with the development of the body from the egg-cell to the adult organism, is divisible into two parts. That which deals with the early stages and chiefly with lower vertebrates and the invertebrates, has grown up in zoological laboratories. That which deals with the formation of the organs and the nervous, vascular and muscular systems in mammals, and with the development of the membranes in man, has been studied especially in medical schools. It is this portion of the subject which is an invaluable aid in understanding anatomy, histology and pathology, and its study should precede the medical school work in these subjects. Unless this is possible in the medical school which the student is to attend, college work in embryology should be considered. Thus in the Medical Department of Johns Hopkins University, where the teachers of anatomy are distinguished for their researches in embryology, no medical school work in this subject is required; a college course is recommended.

Special courses in the anatomy of the nervous system are given both in college and in the medical school, though generally from different standpoints. The subject is so intricate that the college work will be found of considerable assistance.

Occasionally a college announces a course on some one group of animals, such as the protozoa, insects, or worms, as desirable in preparation for medicine. The knowledge of these groups obtained from the general course should be sufficient for a practitioner. The theoretical and statistical study of variation and heredity has only a general interest for medical students, and courses in systematic zoology are of still less importance.

The value of zoological courses as a preparation for anatomy and histology is shown in the following table, based upon the marks of the class which entered the Harvard Medical School in 1907. The table shows the number of men obtaining the grades A to E, A being the highest (90-100 per cent.), and E failure to pass (less than 50 per cent.).

Anatomy Histology
Students who have taken in zoology— a b c d e av.% a b c d e av.%
More than two courses 0 4 7 2 1 69 5 6 3 0 0 85
Two courses 0 1 9 7 3 53 3 6 9 2 0 77
From one half to two courses 0 0 8 8 10 49 3 4 12 5 2 68
No courses 0 0 4 4 7 45 0 2 5 2 6 52