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Irvine McQuarrie—An Essay on the Cultivation of Academic Talent

Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(3):209-210. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030211001.
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A measure of Irvine McQuarrie's immortality is to be found in the "scholars in medicine" he trained, and particularly the many men whom he led into, and cultivated to follow, his own chosen career of academic pediatrics.

The critical influence, which led many of his students toward academic careers, is appropriately suggested by analogy to a principle governing the early behavioral development of young animals—that is, the phenomenon of imprinting.1

Imprinting refers to the observation that certain behavioral stimuli imposed strongly upon the fledgling animal soon after the beginning of extraoval or extrauterine development induce permanent reaction patterns to similar stimuli. It is generally agreed by students of growth and development, that this principle extends to human development. Behavior patterns in children are profoundly influenced by the interests, emotional responses, drives, and strivings that they observe in a parent or parent-surrogate with whom they identify closely.

This process of


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