Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Beginnings of bedside teaching in Padua: Montanus

Medical historians seem to agree that the first teacher of medicine to instruct his students at the bedside was Giovanni Batista de Monte (1498–1552), better known by his Latin name of Montanus. In 1543 Montanus was appointed to the Chair of Medicine at the University of Padua, a state institution of the Republic of Venice. The school which, even before the appointment of Montanus, was recognized as the outstanding center of medical education, acquired under his wise guidance still greater fame. Montanus’ approach to clinical problems was an original one since for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes he considered only the actual results of the examination of the individual patient and refused to be influenced and restrained by galenistic dogmas… Making his educational orientation toward bedside teaching was even more revolutionary, he soon added to it the results of postmortem investigation of those patients his students had observed during life.

I. Snapper, Meditations on Medicine and Medical Education, Grune & Stratton, 1956.

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