The Flexner Report--100 years later

Yale J Biol Med. 2011 Sep;84(3):269-76.


The Flexner Report of 1910 transformed the nature and process of medical education in America with a resulting elimination of proprietary schools and the establishment of the biomedical model as the gold standard of medical training. This transformation occurred in the aftermath of the report, which embraced scientific knowledge and its advancement as the defining ethos of a modern physician. Such an orientation had its origins in the enchantment with German medical education that was spurred by the exposure of American educators and physicians at the turn of the century to the university medical schools of Europe. American medicine profited immeasurably from the scientific advances that this system allowed, but the hyper-rational system of German science created an imbalance in the art and science of medicine. A catching-up is under way to realign the professional commitment of the physician with a revision of medical education to achieve that purpose.

Keywords: Abraham Flexner; Carnegie Foundation; German Medical Training; John D. Rockefeller; Johns Hopkins; Simon Flexner; Theodor Billroth; William Gates; William Osler; William Pritchett; William Welch; full-time system; medical professionalism.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical / history*
  • Education, Medical / standards
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Physicians
  • Schools, Medical / history*
  • Schools, Medical / standards
  • United States