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Ideas and Opinions |

The Humanities in Medical Education

KENNETH S. WARREN, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Presented on 14 May 1983 at the Harvard Medical School Bicentennial Celebration, "Medicine and the Humanities," Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Kenneth S. Warren, M.D.; The Rockefeller Foundation, 1133 Avenue of the Americas; New York, NY 10036.


New York, New York


©1984 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(5):697-701. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-101-5-697
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The importance of humanities in general education is generally acknowledged. With respect to premedical education, a major impediment has been the belief that gaining admittance to medical school is exceedingly difficult and, therefore, a student must major in the sciences. In compensation, the humanities have been introduced in medical schools either through compressed 6-year programs or as curricular or extracurricular options. Studies have shown, however, that approximately 50% of all applicants are admitted to medical schools and that the relatively small proportion of students who have majored in the humanities do somewhat better than average. With respect to medical schools, results of an examination of programs throughout the country suggest that strong extracurricular rather than curricular programs should be developed for the humanities.

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