The previous century has witnessed radical changes to the way in which medical students in Scotland are taught. Given the rapidly advancing medical landscape this is understandable, yet agreement on course content, how it should be taught and by whom, all remain contentious. However throughout the years the medical profession has endured, and skills have been passed down to successive generations; so are there any lessons to be learnt from our past? This paper suggests that there are, and seeks to illustrate the many parallels between 18th and 19th century teaching and today, including the quintessence of an inspirational teacher. A wide variety of 18th-21st century primary and secondary sources have been perused in the preparation of this paper.
- Medical education