Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wartime medical education

During World War II, medical schools across America were asked to speed up their training of new doctors to supply to armed forces units both at home and abroad. As a result, students at the University of Oregon Medical School finished in three years, rather than four, in the accelerated program. A number of our oral history interviewees have talked about the effect of the wartime schedule on training, whether from the perspective of teacher or pupil (see the list in the Oral History Master Index). But I don't think any of the anecdotes sum it up quite as graphically as this drawing, executed by Ralph A. Fenton, M.D., and dated December 1, 1942, recently uncovered in a donation from March 2008.

Fenton was chair of the Dept. of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology, so I guess he would know precisely how large the volume of information funneled down the throat could get....

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