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Medicine belongs to the public. Our mission is to create a different kind of academic medicine, to tear down ivory towers, share knowledge and dedicate ourselves toward one goal - making life better for patients.
A Century Toward Innovation
In 1911 Abraham Flexner issued a report that inspired sweeping reforms in medical education and research in the United States. Published by the Carnegie Foundation, the introduction to Flexner’s famous report drew this frightening picture of early twentieth century medical education:
“Very seldom, under existing conditions, does a patient receive the best aid which it is possible to give in the present state of medicine, and that is due mainly to the fact that a vast army of men is admitted to the practice of medicine who are untrained in sciences fundamental to the profession and quite without a sufficient experience with disease.”
The solution, wrote Flexner, was to create medical schools fashioned in the manner of rigorous universities rather than the trade schools that they resembled more closely.
Flexner singled out the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, founded only thirty years earlier, as the model of the modern medical school. Only Johns Hopkins, maintained “well-equipped laboratories … (directed) by modern teachers, devoting themselves unreservedly to medical investigation and instruction…” Moreover, Hopkins boasted “its own hospital, in which the training of physicians and the healing of the sick combine harmoniously to the infinite advantage of both”. Flexner concluded by observing the impact that Hopkins had had even then on the profession of medicine:
“The influence of this new foundation can hardly be overstated. It has finally cleared up the problem of standards and ideals; and its graduates have gone forth in small bands to found new establishments”. Resulting from Flexner’s report was a revolution in American medical education that directly contributed to much of the medical progress experienced during the remainder of the twentieth century.
We firmly believe that we are launching a new movement in medicine -- a revolution in how doctors are taught, and how physicians work together. Success of the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovative Medicine will prompt other departments, schools, and universities to launch similar centers just as Flexner’s praise of the Hopkins educational system a hundred years ago inspired other universities to restructure their approach to medical education. With this momentum, we believe the public will support creation of a national institute to ensure adequate funding for all research pathways that could improve the health of Americans. Then, the nation will move forward vigorously to address and resolve the serious problems that confront health care today.