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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/223

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RESEARCH IN MEDICINE

duties as teachers, nevertheless find time for research. And it is of further interest that in these departments assistants do not long continue in a subordinate place, or at least if they do it is of their own desire, for they are early called to independent positions in other institutions. On the other hand, one finds that the men who confine their teaching to perfunctory routine laboratory courses, with a profusion of lectures, are the men who never or only occasionally contribute to the literature of their science.

In these departments, too, the teaching is a routine which, so the assistants say, gives no time for investigation; and so they remain assistants indefinitely. So, likewise, it is with the student taught under these two conditions. The student who knows that he is working in a department actively emphasizing new methods and striving to develop new truths, knows that his instruction is presented on the same basis, and thus receives that stimulus and inspiration which ensures his approaching clinical medicine with a proper appreciation of the scientific method. The student under the method of the non-investigator, on the contrary, has no incentive other than that of acquiring a knowledge sufficient to allow him to pass an examination.

An allied argument lies in the fact that the medical school that fosters research attracts the best-trained men as students. We have, as is well known to many of you, a medical school in this country which has, for several years, arbitrarily selected from a large number of prospective matriculants the certain definite number which it desires; the rest, sometimes equal to 50 per cent, of those accepted, go elsewhere. Now this school has the highest of entrance requirements and perhaps the smallest alumni body of any prominent school in the country. It is not therefore a question of easy entrance or of the loyal influence of alumni. Nor is it a question of better laboratory and hospital facilities, for other schools have equally good equipment in both respects. Likewise it is not a question of geographic location or center of population. The enviable position of this school is due solely to the policy of combining research with teaching and of appointing to its staff teachers who, with few exceptions, are also investigators.

My contention that research in the medical school has important practical advantages to the university is, therefore, not visionary or theoretical. A policy which attracts the better-trained class of students, which improves the character of the instruction, which stimulates the student to a better type of individual effort, and which enhances the standing of the university in the community and the nation is a policy which can not be ignored by university president, trustees or faculty.

Another phase of this subject is the duty of the university in public health and other medical matters of interest to the community and essential to its welfare. State and city have always felt at liberty to