Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from a lifetime of experience and from research, more science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. Globalization or Democracy documents the historical roots of Oligarchy, the road to colonialism and tyranny

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Friday, August 04, 2023

Flexner Report

 Abraham Flexner (1866-1959) was an American educator and scholar, best known for his seminal work, the Flexner Report, which significantly influenced medical education in the United States.

              Flexner was the 6th of 9 children born to German Jewish immigrants In Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1886. In 1991 after graduation, Flexner started a private school. He later studied at Harvard and in Europe. While in Germany, Flexner wrote a critical evaluation of American education. 


Contribution to Scientific Medical Education:

Commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Flexner conducted a comprehensive evaluation of medical schools in the U.S. and Canada. His report, published in 1910, criticized the prevailing state of medical education, advocating for more rigorous scientific training and standardized curriculum. This report led to significant reforms in medical education and the closure of many subpar medical schools.


Influence of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.:

While there's no direct evidence of Flexner being influenced by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., both men shared similar concerns regarding medical education. Holmes' advocacy for rigorous scientific training and hygiene in medical practice may have indirectly influenced the focus of Flexner's evaluation.


Influence of German Pathologists and European Medicine:

Flexner was influenced by the German model of medical education, which emphasized scientific research and laboratory-based learning. German pathologists and their emphasis on scientific rigor had a profound impact on Flexner's assessment of medical schools. He recognized the importance of research-oriented medical education, leading him to recommend reforms that incorporated laboratory-based instruction.


Significance of the Scientific Institute at Princeton:

Flexner established the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in 1930. This institute was intended to be a center for advanced research and scholarship, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations among leading scholars. While not directly related to medical education, Flexner's vision for advanced scientific research and his commitment to excellence extended beyond medicine and influenced the academic landscape.


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