The transition from young layman aspiring to be a physician to the young physician skilled in technique and confident in his dealings with patients is slow and halting. To study medicine is generally rated one of the major educational ordeals of American youth. The difficulty of this process and how medical students feel about their training, their doctor-teachers, and the profession they are entering is the target of this study. Now regarded as a classic, Boys in White is of vital interest to medical educators and sociologists.
By daily interviews and observations in classes, wards, laboratories, and operating theaters, the team of sociologists who carried out this firsthand research have not only captured the worries, cynicism, and basic idealism of medical students—they have also documented many other realities of medical education in relation to society. With some sixty tables and illustrations, the book is a major experiment in analyzing and presenting qualitative data.