The legacy of Cabanis: a hypothesis on the roots of medical education in Brazil

2017-12-05T16:04:41Z (GMT) by Naomar Almeida-Filho

Georges Cabanis was a reformer of clinical practice and medical education who laid the conceptual foundations during the French Revolution for the development of education in France over the course of the 19th century. The model, in turn, marked the organization of educational systems in many Latin American countries. The objective of this article is to present and justify a hypothesis: the model of medical education still hegemonic in Brazil is still based upon the Cabanisian reform, holding a linear and Cartesian conceptual perspective, with a discipline-based curriculum, traditional teaching formats, and submission to corporate professional logic. In order to better understand the social and political context of the historical processes that generated this anachronism, I begin with a summary of the biography and thinking of Georges Cabanis, introducing him as a central character in his historical context. Next, I highlight the main structural elements in the Cabanis model, with a special focus on medical teaching, drawing on some of his writings as the documental source. Finally, in broad strokes, I present the project for reform of medical teaching elaborated by Cabanis and his collaborators as backing for a preliminary evaluation of the proposed hypothesis.