Journal article

The goal of our ambition: the transformation of medical education and research at Australian Universities, 1914–20

P Hobbins, J Waghorne

History Australia | Informa UK Limited | Published : 2021


Australian medical schools faced dramatic organisational and epistemological challenges during and after World War I. The conflict and consequent ‘Spanish’ influenza pandemic interrupted more than university teaching; it challenged the very basis of clinical practice. In particular, an emergent research culture began to redefine the nature and purpose of medical knowledge. Concurrently, wartime coordination hastened the development of specialisation, reshaping medical politics into the inter-war era. The years 1914 to 1920 thus witnessed fundamental shifts in the education, organisation and aspirations of doctors, both for their own profession and for the health of the Australian polity.