Medical School of Maine Curriculum | Medical School of Maine catalogue, 1881. Medical School of Maine Records, Bowdoin College Archives.
In the nineteenth century, a medical student would listen to lectures, study books, and make recitations in order to learn the theoretical basis of medicine. To achieve practical, hands-on experience, students were required to supplement their classroom education with demonstration-based training with a preceptor. In the early days of the Medical School, students apprenticed with local doctors to acquire this experience.
Beginning in the 1880s, Maine General Hospital—now Maine Medical Center—in Portland became the clinical facility for Maine medical students after the construction of their surgical amphitheater to observe procedures.
In the 1881 catalog the requirements for admission, clinical experience, and graduation are outlined.