Address on medical education

Dublin Core

Title

Address on medical education

Subject

Speeches
Harvard Medical School
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894

Description

Despite Harvard’s renowned faculty members and array of courses, the students themselves in the mid-19th century were often poorly trained. Few of the matriculants had formal college degrees upon entering the school, the required course of study was short, and the medical examinations at the end were haphazard. It was the advent of President Charles William Eliot (1834-1926) in 1869, which brought about a complete revolution in the medical curriculum. Eliot faced resistance from the faculty but ultimately managed to institute a new set of statutes for the Medical School in 1870, insisting on more stringent entrance requirements. He also increased the size of the faculty, extended the medical course to three years with examinations throughout, and even began the academic year in September rather than November. Of these changes, Holmes said, "Our new President, Eliot, has turned the whole University over like a flapjack. There never was such a bouleversement as that in our Medical Faculty." This manuscript essay by Holmes, expressing his cautious views on the Eliot reforms (“I am ready for a step onward, perhaps for a stride, but not quite ready for a leap,”) was probably one presented to the Medical Faculty at its meeting on March 16, 1871, when the new plan of instruction was being debated.

Abstract

Excerpt from the manuscript for the address given to the Harvard Medical Faculty by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

Creator

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894

Date Created

1871 March

Rights

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in this collection. For use information, consult Public Services at chm@hms.harvard.edu

Access Rights

Access to the original work depicted requires advance notice. Contact Public Services at chm@hms.harvard.edu for additional information

Is Part Of

Papers of Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1838-1890 (inclusive). GA 38

Format

text

Extent

excerpt (1 page)

Language

English

Type

text

Identifier

DigID0002161

Provenance

From the Archives of Harvard Medical School

Files

http://stage.collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/file_upload/0002161_dref.jpg

Citation

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894, “Address on medical education,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed June 3, 2023, https://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/items/show/6316.

Item Relations

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  1. http://stage.collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/file_upload/0002161_dref.jpg