Learning Concepts and Practising Medicine in Medical Education
Theoretical concepts and practice are regarded as different entities at German universities. For centuries it has been an open question as to how to link them in medical education. According to traditional pedagogical principles, students are taught the concepts before these are applied in practice. German students are assumed to be mature individuals when they enter medical school. As understood by Abraham Flexner and still expressed in 1961 by the German philosopher Karl Jaspers, the teacher and the student are equally free. Students may, therefore, take the advice of their teachers or disregard it at their own peril. The final examination, which deserves special attention, is the only situation in which the student must demonstrate proof of success of learning.