For students, two publications served as key outlets from the daily rigors of medical school and contributed to the overall sense of a medical school community. Faculty members encouraged school activities such as these to inspire a climate of interest that advanced the educational mission of the school throughout its history.
The Medico student newspaper was founded in September 1948 and was published monthly for the next 50 years. Its final issue was in 1998. Students were selected annually for the editor’s position. The rag was devoted to commentary on mundane issues like parking shortages and Razorback games, but it also for took on more substantive matters like issues with medical school policies and practices.
When the national Medical Licensing Examination (FLEX) test went beyond basic sciences to include the healing arts, the editor of the Medico, concluded that the healing arts exam was “a needless expense, an intellectual farce, a waste of time, and in general a royal pain in the rump.” In 1974, the editor and other students tried to persuade the State Medical Association to endorse a proposal to substitute FLEX for the traditional exam. The students prevailed on the state legislature in 1977 to abolish the Healing Arts Board, which had controlled the exam since 1959.
The newspaper was even threatened when the 1962 editor advised freshmen students to take on a “canned note” system where students transcribed lectures and distributed them, hence making class attendance less imperative. Dean Shorey threatened to suspend publication but the Medico continued to appear until its demise in 1978.
In the 1920s, when the composition and growth of student activities indicated a stable institution, the revival of school spirit led to the publication of the first three volumes of the Caduceus yearbook in 1924, 1925 and 1926. The pressures and challenges of the Depression (part time work was necessary to meet expenses) delayed another yearbook until 1941. Then the way years intervened, and not until 1949, with the publication of the Arkaduceus, did the current series of yearbooks begin publication. The title became the Caduceus (again) with the 1950 volume, and continues to this day.
There was a brief period without publication from 1927 until 1939, for there was little interest of the yearbook during the depression. It more than likely reflected that their free time was otherwise occupied with part-time employment since students had to find a war to meet expenses. But Dean Cromer persuaded students to publish another issue in 1927 which continued the tradition of publishing class rosters, student activities and candid photos. In the spring of 1949, the student body published theArkaduceus for one occasion and in the years followed, it sustained the Caduceusname. The Caduceus is still published today and celebrated its 85th year in 2009.