58. The Rise and Fall of the American Medical School

For a few decades in the mid-twentieth century, the American Medical School represented the pinnacle of academia and its faculty were mightily engaged in the “triple threat” of research, teaching, and patient care. Today, however, the medical ivory tower is subordinated to hospital systems, overburdened with the menial task of “generating revenue,” and is but a pale image of its former self. On this episode, our guest helps us trace the history of the American medical school from its humble 19th century beginnings to its present day turmoils.

Dr. Milton Packer is an internationally recognized clinician, teacher, and scientist in the field of heart failure research. He has served as Chief of Cardiology at Columbia University in New York City and, subsequently, as Chair of the Department of Clinical Science at the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He is currently the Distinguished Scholar in Cardiovascular Science at Baylor University Medical Center.

Dr. Packer has received many teaching awards, mentored dozens of young clinical investigators, completed innumerable successful research projects, and served as a leader in many professional organizations. He is now also well known and admired for his regular column on MedPage Today, “Revolution and Revelation”, in which he mixes wisdom and polemics to the delight of his many readers.

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