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On Being a Doctor |

From an Observer

Bonnie B. Smith, PhD
[+] Article and Author Information

University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, MO 64124-2395 Requests for Reprints: Bonnie B. Smith, PhD, Department of Microbiology, University of Health Sciences, 2105 Independence Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64124-2395.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1995;122(8):628-629. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-122-8-199504150-00014
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I teach Virology to second-year medical students. In my job as an educator, I try to present information my students will need to function as competent doctors. But at times I wonder if I can determine what they need to know. I often ask myself if I include information truly important or only of interest to basic scientists like myself. When I teach Virology, for instance, I know that for my students to understand viral replication they must understand macromolecular synthesis. I am comfortable teaching that material. But how much of that do they need to know? What will they use in practice? Because I am not a physician, to some degree I am unable to answer.

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