Author Horace Davenport is a retired professor of physiology who had a distinguished career in medical science. This book reflects his more recent interest in the history of medicine and physiology in the 19th and 20th centuries. The best summary of this transcription with commentary resides in the author's own introductory paragraph, paraphrased here: From 1899 to 1900 fourth year medical students at the University of Michigan doing their medicine and surgery rotations attended a diagnostic clinic twice a week with George Dock, A.M., M.D., professor of theory and practice of clinical medicine. Dr. Dock had a secretary make a shorthand record of everything that was said at these clinics by Dock himself, the patients, and the students.

The clinics and recording of the interactions continued until the summer of 1908 when Dr. Dock left Michigan for a position at Tulane. The typed transcripts of these sessions fill 6,800 pages. This book is Davenport's distillation and, on occasion, clarification of these documents. In these transcriptions resides not only a view of the practice of academic medicine at the turn of the 20th century, but also a glimpse at one clinician's interpretation of clinical material in his own time.


The transcriptions of Dr. Dock's teaching clinics are organized by organic systems rather than temporally, so there is little sense of change over the years covered, despite this being a period of innovation and discovery during the emergence of the science of medicine.

The greatest contribution of this work seems to be its provision of an overview of the state of medical education in the United States in the years immediately preceding the Flexner report. The viewpoint is almost entirely that of Dr. Dock with limited commentary by the author. An interested reader with some awareness of the state of medical education in this period will likely enjoy this set of contemporaneous insights.


Rutgers Univ. Press

Place Published

New Brunswick, N.J.



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