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Spring 1966

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2002 - Autumn


“ ‘If I understand the Yale System correctly, its aim is to minimize compulsion and maximize diversity in the experience of the student, to minimize conformity in medical thought and maximize independent critical thinking by the student, to provide each student with a personal experience in scientific medicine by providing the stimulus and facilities for a scholarly inquiry by all. Systems possess little intrinsic merit in themselves; their merit lies in what they attempt to accomplish and the magnitude of their accomplishment. By seeking the expression of the best independent critical thought of its students, in my opinion the Yale System provides its students with the best preparation for medicine of the future. True, occasionally an errant student may adopt positions distasteful to his mentors. But quickly we, who are the faculty, learn that this is in reality the best consequence of the educational system. Unless the young seek to improve and change they are not worthy. Without conflict, there is no progress. No doubt it is impossible to express in quantitative terms the accomplishments of the Yale System of medical education. Nonetheless, many of us who have experienced it are deeply grateful.’ ”

Halsted R. Holman, M.D. ’49, chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford, speaking at the dedication of the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation.