WORK OF THE MEDICAL SCHOOL.
The medical profession, concerning which Dean Bradford of the Medical School writes today, has been raised in prestige and attractiveness. Ten years ago the practice of medicine was flooded by members of ill-prepared medical graduates; and the profession was forced to take matters in its own hands. Through the American Medical Association a publicity campaign was undertaken, which drove the incomplete school out of existence and raised the standard of the profession to its modern status. The Association required at first that medical students should have a college degree; but this was unsatisfactory, on account of the varied significance of degrees from different colleges. Under the revised requirements they demand two years of previous academic training, with high scholarship, and one year of work in medical science. Consequently the number of medical graduates per year has been cut down by one-third; and doctors are fewer, but more efficient.
In the present war the Harvard Medical School is doing its share in relief work. When England called for medical aid from this country a year ago, there was a response from many quarters, including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard. But of the three universities Harvard alone sent a unit to the European hospitals, where it worked efficiently for three months, and was succeeded by another unit. Then England asked Harvard to send a unit to take charge of a base hospital of one thousand beds, and accordingly thirty doctors and seventy nurses are now active in that base hospital.
Besides its work in Europe, the Medical School has fostered the preparedness policy at home. Realizing that this country, in case of war, would be in crying need of doctors with military training, a unit has been started in conjunction with the Harvard Regiment. Ninety men have volunteered in it; and thirty have enrolled for Plattsburg this summer, to obtain military training for the medical corps.
For its excellent work in Europe and at home the Medical School deserves universal commendation. Considering that their interests have much in common with the school, students of the University should profit by the privilege extended, to inspect the work of the School in its own buildings and in the Massachusetts General Hospital. For not a few medicine will prove to be their vocation in life.