Some things never change
- By: Isobel Weinberg
- Published: 16 November 2012
- DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e7405
- Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;20:e7405
Medical students consider themselves special. We like to think that we are set apart from other students by our onerous course and the responsibilities that lie ahead. Has becoming a doctor always been like this? In his feature, Toby Pitts-Tucker takes a look at the history of medical education (p 12), starting with students who learnt from Hippocrates in ancient Greece, and progressing through to the medieval universities—in which students endured three hour lectures.
Much has changed since then, starting with the curriculum. Medical students in ancient times were taught that diseases resulted from imbalances between bile and phlegm, which seems nonsensical now. On the other hand, plenty has stayed the same. Medical students through the ages have endured long periods of study and heavy memorisation. What’s more, medical students have always believed they have it tough. “The time I should spend at lectures and in study I am