University of Southern California
Artist & Gallery


I was struck by a certain seriousness and a change in the students as they learned the precision required in such courses as MMI. It was endless and tiresome, but this area holds the key to most unsolved human diseases. At each table they were experimenting with immunity, antibodies, and antigens. This is their first experiment in the principles of immune hemolysis. They carefully pipetted drops into the test tubes and placed them inside the centrifuge. After the drops were spun down, they waited for the coagulation. They took notes, waited for the incubator, took notes, fixed slides, and took notes. There was a rhythm to the work and each group repeated the same gestures. The exact pose of one of Rembrandt's models, in the Woman with the Arrow etching, was held by a woman student on the upper right of my color print. When highly trained, the students showed a gracefulness of movement. I began the plate with the Monday group, continued it with the Wednesday section, and finished it up with the Friday students, so I heard all the latest news about their medical and social advances. This particular class had a young resident instructing along with the Ph.D. professor. The resident was interested in transplantation and was doing research in rejection of tissue. He was a big help to the medical students, as he knew what they needed to understand at their stage of education and could emphasize and explain this better than their regular research instructors. (The research Ph.D. dealt primarily with animals, while the medical students were being trained to be scientists for human beings.)

-May Lesser

Excerpt & image from: Lesser, May H. The Art of Learning Medicine. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts; 1974. p. 76-7.

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