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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from Elke Jordan to Joshua Lederberg Annotation pdf (107,930 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Elke Jordan to Joshua Lederberg
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (107,930 Bytes)
1958-08-23 (August 23, 1958)
Jordan, Elke
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Elke Jordan.
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence C
Box Number: 11
Folder Number: 113
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1953-1960
Folder: Jordan, Elke
August 23rd, 1958
Dear Dr. Lederberg,
Thank you so much for your kind letter and especially the helpful advice which you gave. I have carefully considered the advantages of going to medical school one more year, but have decided that the atmosphere there is such that I would lose all my spirit of inquiry and, furthermore, I do not intend ever to go into a medical field. If I really need to know some of the material taught in the second year, there are always ways of learning it. I have noticed this summer how much out of practice I am in thinking critically and creatively. Also I find that the type of approach used in teaching at medical school minimizes all those facts which become important in experimental work. Therefore
that is not the place to get training for such work.
I am sorry that it is impossible for you to take any more students this year, though I am delighted at the reason for this. The program you will set up at Stanford sounds like a splendid idea and will, I am sure, be welcome to many. I already know of several people who have left medicine for basic research and had a hard time getting started because of inadequate training. I wish you great success for your venture!
I have finally made up my mind about what to do this coming year and it is to stay at the Hopkins, where I have now worked myself into a project and where I feel I can learn what I am interested in.
Thank you again for the interest you took in my problem.
Very sincerely yours,
Elke Jordan
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Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW:  Medical school vs. Ph. D.; career counseling;

jl 12/25/99