The great white marble quadrangle of buildings that comprise the physical heart of the Harvard School of Medicine is perfectly emblematic of a secular temple of medical science. But behind its gleaming facade, a richly complex human drama is played out year after year, little of which is seen by the world that regards Harvard Med as the greatest center of medical education and research in this country. John Langone, who has had a lifelong interest in and familial and journalistic ties to the school, has done a revealing, unauthorized (despite the remarkable access he was given) group portrait of those students, faculty, deans, and gadflies who make Harvard Med what it is.

Who is accepted to Harvard Medical School? Who does the selecting? What qualities (besides academic excellence) do they look for in an applicant? What is it like, day in and day out, to be one of the future physicians or researchers trying to survive in its grip? How has the school reformulated its purpose and reformed its methods through its long history? These and virtually every other significant question readers may have about one of the world's premier medical schools are answered in Harvard Med, an engagingly written, anecdotal, always candid profile of an institution informally known as The Medical School of America.

Founded in 1782 in the closing days of the American Revolution, elevated to greatness under the leadership of University President Charles W. Eliot in the latter part of the nineteenth century, Harvard Medical School arrived at its present state of eminence through a process of change and leadership that will intrigue anyone who is curious about the forces that have shaped the medical profession in America.