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The Flexner Report

The Flexner Report

The Flexner Report

Before the publication of the 1910 Flexner report, medical education in the US was ununiformed. It lacked common standards and had no form of certification needed before being able to attend to patients (Drake, 2014). Generally, there was no resident or postgraduate training taking place or required. Furthermore, there were numerous medical schools, most of which had been set up for money-making purposes where lecturers and other shareholders would share the obtained money. The existent medical schools also had varied and weak standards of admission. For instance, some needed a college degree or high school diploma. Others only needed equivalent training or activities without any formal diploma or degree. Lastly, there were major discrepancies in what was being taught at multiple medical schools since there was a lack of uniformity in the curriculum (Drake, 2014). Most schools followed an apprenticeship model. Such issues raised major concerns that were tackled and addressed in the Flexner Report.

The 1910 Flexner Report transformed the process and nature of medical education in the US with the subsequent abolition of proprietary schools and the setting up of the biomedical model as medical training’s gold standard (Duffy, 2011). The report has resulted in changes that can be seen in accreditation standards, student diversity, and technological advancements (Crass & Romanelli, 2018). Programs that educate or train physicians are currently of high standards of admission, necessitate a degree that has the necessary science requirements (Drake, 2014). Furthermore, reforms in the medical education curriculum are constantly made. This is partly due to the efforts and insight of outsiders who help align the existing practice with both the internal standards and the demands made by the members of the public (Anderson, 2011).



Anderson, W. D. (2011). Outside looking in: observations on medical education since the Flexner Report. Medical education, 45(1), 29-35.

Crass, R. L., & Romanelli, F. (2018). Curricular reform in pharmacy education through the lens of the Flexner report of 1910. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 82(7), 726-731.

Drake, R. L. (2014). A retrospective and prospective look at medical education in the United States: Trends shaping anatomical sciences education. Journal of Anatomy, 224(3), 256-260. doi: 10.1111/joa.12054

Duffy, T. P. (2011). The Flexner report―100 years later. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 84(3), 269-276.


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The Association of American Medical Colleges was founded in 1876. It set minimum standards for medical education but was unable to enforce its recommendations. The American Medical Association (AMA) obtained the help of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to provide a rating of medical schools. The foundation appointed Abraham Flexner to investigate medical schools located in both the United States and Canada. The Flexner Report, published in 1910, had a profound effect on medical education reform.

The Flexner Report

The Flexner Report

Written in APA format, address the following:

Explain the history of the medical education system leading up to the creation of the Flexner Report.

Explain how the Flexner Report has contributed to medical education reform.

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