Scientific Method for Medical Practitioners: The Case Method of Teaching Pathology in Early Twentieth-Century Edinburgh

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Abstract

The appointment of James Lorrain Smith as first full-time professor
of pathology at the University of Edinburgh in 1912 led to a series of reforms
in pathology teaching there. Most significant was the inception of what Lorrain
Smith called the “case method of teaching pathology,” which used the investigation
of clinical cases as the basis for a series of exercises in clinico-pathological
correlation. This paper examines the social and cognitive organization of the case
method of teaching, and shows how such exercises were expected to inform the
students’ future medical training and practice. In so doing, it also throws light
on the relationship between medical science and clinical practice that obtained
in Edinburgh at that time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-792
JournalBulletin of the History of Medicine
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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