The Transformation of American Medical Education: The Flexner Report: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1906

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


In 1906, Abraham Flexner approached the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancment of Teaching for employment. Flexner had just returned from Europe, where he had written a critique of American higher education. In accordance with a proposal by the Council on Medical Education, CFAT hired Flexner to undertake a comprehensive evaluation and prepare a report on the state of medical education in the United States and Canada. In the report, Flexner was to identify the best practices of various institutions and to highlight the areas of greatest need and potential for reform.
Flexner’s first report, Bulletin Number 4: Medical Education in the United States and Canada, set off an explosion of unprecedented controversy, protest, and reform in the institutions of medical education. In that report, Flexner first outlined the current state of medical education and identified the best characteristics of a medical education institution, and then he provided an assessment, often harshly critical, of each medical school in the U.S. and Canada. . . .



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