The First World War: what can it teach us about medical education?

  • Kieran Walsh BMJ Learning
Keywords: First World War, medical education


Between the years 1914 and 1918, the First World War claimed the lives of 17 million people and left countless more with long-term physical and psychological injuries. The years 2014 to 2018 are a time of remembrance as the countries who took part in the war remember past sacrifices and try to draw lessons from them. Experts from a range of disciplines have reflected and written on what the war meant for industry, women, minorities, and a variety of other entities. From a medical perspective, the war caused a massive number of surgical morbidity and mortality cases – and so it seems reasonable to ask: what lessons for medical educators can we draw from the First World War?

Author Biography

Kieran Walsh, BMJ Learning
Clinical Director
BMJ Learning
How to Cite
Walsh, K. (2017). The First World War: what can it teach us about medical education?. South African Journal of Surgery, 55(1), 45-46. Retrieved from