Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

90 
McGILL UNIVERSITY 
course on branch 1. Incidentally, it was a great com¬ 
fort to realize that in spite of the structural detail, 
this preliminary canter may remain rational and 
strictly experimental. It is no longer difficult in the 
elementary course to confine oneself to broad out¬ 
lines. In the Anatomy Department a corresponding 
subdivision has been in vogue for some time, the first 
year’s work involving a review' of all the bodily systems. 
By arrangement, too, w'ith the professor of histology, the 
students do their microscopic anatomy at this introduc¬ 
tory stage. There is no longer any doubt that the 
physiology teaching has been improved by the division 
into tw'o “rounds,” one dealing with function in the 
sense of use, the other with function in the sense of 
mechanism. 
Two incidental results of a purely practical kind 
followed from this separation of the lecture work into 
two stages. Dental students receive their lecture-room 
instruction along with first-year medical students 
in physiology. These could now receive a course 
more adapted to their needs. The second point con¬ 
cerns particularly the medical students, who used to 
have an unnaturally long period of preliminary scientific 
education before coming into contact with patients. 
Under the new arrangement, however, as soon as the 
elementary course in physiology was nearing completion 
it became possible to take them (once a W'eek during the 
second term) to the hospitals for a special physiological 
clinic on selected cases of illness. 
An eminent authority on medical education, on hear¬ 
ing of the latter arrangement, observed, “ In other words, 
you use a patient to illustrate a physiological principle 
just as you would a dog.” The remark, pertinent up to 
a point, nevertheless betrays an inherent misconception. 
To a physiologist it may be a matter of unconcern 
whether a physiological principle is demonstrated on a 
dog or on a human being; not so to a young medical 
student, whose attitude towards physiology is often one 
of passive endurance rather than of active interest. 
How can one best win his sympathetic cooperation? 
The scientific appeal per se is undoubtedly efficacious, 
but can it not be powerfully reinforced? When the 
student sees his physiology teacher appear in the hos¬ 
pital, when he has direct demonstration (implicit, never 
formal) that the text-book and lecture-room facts of 
physiology have an intimate bearing on cases of human 
illness, he experiences a new feeling towards the subject; 
physiology is henceforward a thing that counts. The 
very atmosphere of the hospital has a bracing effect; it 
inevitably makes for seriousness; and any experienced 
teacher will admit that there are few pedagogical pleas¬ 
ures to compare with the enjoyment of handling med¬ 
ical students on their first introduction to clinical cases. 
These clinics are given as an extra, over and above the 
regulation time-table stipulations. They are designed 
solely and simply to secure interest for physiology. The 
students look upon them as a privilege, and attendance 
is no more exacted than at any of the regular classes. 
Second-year students are inclined to slip in at the risk of 
overcrowding, but priority belongs to the first-year men. 
At the same time it is noteworthy that the dental 
students, whose interests seem to be different, have 
hitherto availed themselves but little of the opportunity 
afforded by these clinics. 
Advanced Lectures 
As will be mentioned presently, the problem of staffing 
has been an outstanding difficulty. Trained assistants 
were simply unprocurable. Nevertheless it has been 
possible within the last two years to institute advanced 
lectures open to the staff itself, to clinical teachers and 
workers who had attached themselves to the Depart¬ 
ment for instruction and research, and to a small number 
of picked students who had qualified for admission by 
good work during either the first or the second year of 
physiological study. For the last mentioned group the 
class is an “option,” that is to say, the invited (honors) 
students may attend or not just as their inclinations or 
engagements permit; they are given to understand that 
their right to decline or to discontinue attendance at any 
stage is inviolate and free from any shadow of penalty 
or discrimination. At the same time the privilege is 
guarded, all interested applications for admission by 
other students being refused. 
Two thirty-lecture courses were given each winter; 
one, designed especially to meet the needs of the clini¬ 
cians and optional for honors students, on recent ad¬ 
vances in physiology, the subject-matter varying from 
year to year; the other, intended only for the few, on the 
experimental study of structure (experimental embryol¬ 
ogy and physiological morphology). Experience with 
the first course, hitherto more or less private, eventually 
suggested throwing it open to the clinical teaching staff 
at large, and during the present winter (1924-1925) a 
short public course of physiology lectures for clinicians 
has drawn a much larger audience. 
Practical Classes 
In range and variety the practical work is unusually 
comprehensive, the first-year work being largely on frog 
and human material, the second-year work being based 
upon Sherrington’s. Mammalian Physiology. It is 
doubtful whether any special object would be served by 
giving detailed data respecting the experiments covered 
in these classes. In the choice of experiments every 
teacher has his individual views. Perhaps some general 
remarks pertaining to the conduct of large practical 
classes, derived from years of experience, may be of 
service. They are set down simply for what they are 
worth and any appearance of dogmatism in the manner
        

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