Intended for healthcare professionals


Learning from history?

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 17 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:0

One pleasure (or curse) of being an old dog is watching everything come round again. “What experience and history teach us is this,” wrote Hegel, “that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”

Colin Douglas has been through so many revolutions in the medical curriculum in Edinburgh that he has lost count (p 1085). Greybeard that he has become, he looks back. First he remembers when “the anatomists—having endured a cut in the teaching time from 900 to 500 hours—responded robustly, teaching the …

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