The provision of instruction and information in the sciences basic to medicine and in clinical practice, ideally in such a manner as to inculcate in the recipient the desire to continue the process, spontaneously, throughout life. Literally, a ‘drawing out’. The importance of medical education is highlighted by the recent decision of the General Medical Council to issue licences to practice only to doctors whose knowledge and skills have been validated and shown to conform to the standards laid down in the GMC pamphlet GOOD MEDICAL PRACTICE. This applies to all doctors from 2005. John Locke insisted that the aims of education, in order of importance, were virtue, wisdom, breeding and learning. There is much to be said for this view.