If a course in art can develop this ability, it should be considered by medical students. To perceive accurately is not only a source of great enjoyment in itself, but to a certain extent it is an aid to the practising physician. One medical school in the United States recommends drawing for admission, and another provides instruction in anatomical drawing as an elective course.
College Physiology and Hygiene.—Some colleges offer courses in physiology which are dilute presentations of medical school work. Thus, in one course, the student may be taught something of human anatomy, physiology, hygiene and medical bacteriology, all of which may be useful for those who are not intending to study medicine. It is wholly undesirable for the medical student to take time from other college work for the sake of such courses.
The Value of Research.—Some teachers believe that the original investigation of a subject in science, since it compels the student to think for himself and to depend upon his own observations, is worth several regular courses as a preparation for medical study. Certain researches, moreover, are not difficult. A study of the variation in the number of rays in the daisy, or of spinal anomalies in the salamander, might be made by an undergraduate if specially taught for this purpose. Such researches, however, are generally at the expense of fundamental education, and "researchlings" are not good students of elementary subjects.
Summary of Recommendations.—In the preceding pages it has been recommended that the medical student should have studied Latin, French, German, mathematics, physics and drawing in preparation for college; and that in college he should elect courses in zoology, botany, chemistry, physics, psychology, English, French and German, since these studies will be of direct value in connection with his work in the medical school. Between two and three years will be required for the recommended studies, but some time will be free for philosophy, history and political economy. These subjects are named since they
- Since this was written, President Eliot has referred to the advantages of studying drawing in the preparatory schools, as follows: "A university student who enters on the subject of botany or zoology is really crippled unless he can draw. He will make much slower progress; and will not have the best means of recording what he sees. And yet it is only a small percentage of the young men who now come to Harvard College that have any capacity for drawing. They have never had any opportunity to acquire any artistic skill."—Address to Graduates of the Massachusetts Normal Art School, April, 1909.