As I learned through hard experience, the practice of medicine is a black hole that can absorb every moment you will give. It's easy to become so devoted to your patients that you neglect the people who matter most to you.
Matthew D. Foster, MD in Medical Economics 10/23/95
n. One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -
from the Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce|
...a peculiar thing in medicine is that we never believe anything
unless it can be demonstrated in animals. - John A. Schindler, M.D.
Neurotic means he is not as sensible as I am, and psychotic means he's
even worse than my brother-in-law. - Karl Menninger, M.D.
Nothing is more fatal to health than over care of it. - Ben Franklin
Many ordinary illnesses are nothing but the expression of a serious
dissatisfaction with life. - Paul Tournier, M.D.
Do what you will, the time will probably come when you will want the
advice of a PHYSICIAN. ..Choose a sensible man, personally agreeable
to yourself, if possible, whom you know to have had a good education,
to stand well with the members of his own profession, and of whom
other scientific men, as well as physicians, speak respectfully...Once
having chosen your medical adviser, be slow to leave him, except for
good cause. He has served an apprenticeship to your constitution. -
Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D.
...city people shut themselves off from the processes of nature. They
have air conditioning, central heating, eat hothouse vegetables,
decorate with forced flowers, and even send their cats to a
veterinarian to have kittens. The result is that when nature does
assert itself -- when illness, pain, and death loom over their petty
barriers -- your city dwellers are surprised and annoyed. Their
attitude seems to say, "This is all a mistake and tomorrow it
will be over" -- as though it were as simple as turning on a
radiator to make a room warmer. - Joseph A. Jerger, M.D.
We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the
medical profession. - George Bernard Shaw
But what physician has not had patients who don't make any sense at
all? To tell the truth, they're our stock-in-trade. We talk and write
about the ones we can make sense of. - Walker Percy
Every day doctors have to deal with people who are worn out and unable
to stand up to the life they lead. They generally assert that it is
impossible to alter the way they live, and sincerely believe that
their overwork is the product of circumstance, whereas it is bound up
with their own intimate problems. It is ambition, fear of the future,
love of money, jealousy, or social injustice that makes men strive and
overwork, invent all sorts of unnecessary tasks, keep late hours, take
too little sleep, take insufficient holidays, or use their holidays
badly. Their minds are overtense, so that at night they cannot sleep
and by day they doubly fatigue themselves at their work. - Paul
Some patients, though conscious that their condition is perilous,
recover their health simply through their contentment with the
goodness of the physician. - Hippocrates 460-400 B.C.
Honor a physician with the honor due unto him for the uses which ye
may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. - Ecclesiasticus 38:1
Three rules: I do not eat too much; I do not worry too much; and, if I
do my best, I believe that what happens, happens for the best. - Henry
To live long, live slowly. - Cicero
Sickness may be the solemn occasion of God's intervention in a
person's life. - Paul Tournier, MD
The public blames the medical profession for giving too many
tranquilizers and antidepressants. But what would you do? Doctors like
to see healing as the result of their work. Yet today we often must be
content with far less. There are so many things wrong with people's
lives that even our best is only a stopgap. - Richard A. Swenson, MD
The twenty thousand biomedical journals now published are increasing
by six to seven per cent a year. To review ten journals in internal
medicine, a physician must read about two hundred articles and seventy
editorials a month. - Phil Manning, M.D. and Lois DeBakey, Ph.D.
(written in 1987)
An inquiring, analytical mind; an unquenchable thirst for new
knowledge; and a heartfelt compassion for the ailing - these are
prominent traits among the committed clinicians who have preserved the
passion for medicine. - Lois DeBakey, Ph.D.
...it is difficult for a specialist to see beyond his own field, and
easy for him to believe that his own particular services are required.
- Joseph A. Jerger, M.D.
...what happens then is like what happens when we separate a jigsaw
puzzle into its fuve hundred pieces: The over-all picture disappears.
This is the state of modern medicine: It has lost the sense of the
unity of man. Such is the price it has paid for its scientific
progress. It has sacrificed art to science. Paul Tournier, M.D.
The education of the doctor which goes on after he has his degree is,
after all, the most important part of his education. - John Shaw
Our profession, after all, deals partly with guess work; we do not
deal in absolutes. - Paul Beeson, M.D.
The art of medicine cannot be inherited, nor can it be copied from
books.... - Paracelsus
The most essential part of a student's instruction is obtained...not
in the lecture-room, but at the bedside. Nothing seen there is lost;
the rhythms of disease are learned by frequent repetition; its
unforeseen occurences stamp themselves indelibly in the memory. -
Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D.
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The practice of medicine will be very much as you make it - to one a
worry, a care, a perpetual annoyance; to another, a daily job and a
life of as much happiness and usefulness as can well fall to the lot
of man, because it is a life of self-sacrifice and of countless
opportunities to comfort and help the weak-hearted, and to raise up
those that fall.
We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can from, life.
Engrossed late and soon in professional cares, getting and spending,
you may so lay waste your powers that you may find, too late, with
hearts given away, that there is no place in your habit-stricken souls
for those gentler influences which make your life worth living.
...in the physician or surgeon no quality takes rank with
Without faith a man can do nothing; with it all things are possible.
The workers in Christ's vineyard were hired by the day; only for this
day are we to ask for our daily bread, and we are expressly bidden to
take no thought for the morrow.
The chief worries of life arise from the foolish habit of looking
before and after.
The load of tomorrow added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes
the strongest falter. Shut off the future as tightly as the past.
Waste of energy, mental distress, nervous worries dog the steps of a
man who is anxious about the future.
The wider and freer a man's general education, the better practitioner
he is likely to be.
Nothing in life is more wonderful than faith.
[T]he student begins with the patient, continues with the patient, and
ends his studies with the patient, using books and lectures as tools,
as means to an end.
If you do not believe in yourself how can you expect other people to
do so? If you have not an abiding faith in the profession you cannot
be happy in it.
from the works of Sir William Osler
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For Christian physicians...
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it and
he will. -Psa 37:5 TLB
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose. -- Rom 8:28 (KJV)
We cannot measure Divine Providence by the yardstick of human
mentality. - Dr. A.J. Cronin
It becomes every person who purposes to give himself to the care of
others, seriously to consider the four following things: First, that
he must one day give an account to the Supreme Judge of all the lives
entrusted to his care. Second, that all his skill and knowledge and
energy, as they have been given him by God, so they should be
exercised for His glory and the good of mankind, and not for mere gain
or ambition. Third, and not more beautifully than truly, let him
reflect that he has undertaken the care of no mean creature; for, in
order that he may estimate the value, the greatness of the human race,
the only begotten Son of God became himself a man and thus ennobled it
with His divine dignity, and far more than this, died to redeem it.
And fourth, that the doctor being himself a mortal human being, should
be diligent and tender in relieving his suffering patients, inasmuch
as he himself must one day be a like sufferer. - Dr. Thomas Sydenham
The doctor who can no longer find time in his day for prayer and the
inner life, time to prepare for his consultations in the presence of
God and to seek his will for his patinets, cannot bring to them the
spiritual climate that is necessary if they are to open their hearts
to him. Driven on by his devotion to the needs of his practice, he
leads a fatiguing and unsatisfying life in which only more and more
rarely does he find those peaceful moments on intimacy when he can
provide what the patient most expects of him. - Dr. Paul Tournier
The world does not need a new medicine: it needs doctors who know how
to pray and obey God in their own lives. In such hands medicine, with
all its modern resources, will bring forth fruits in abundance. - Dr.
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
The fact is that in denying the reality of sin, by giving people to
understand that a fault of character is due to the malfunctioning of
an endocrine gland, or by calling some impure temptation a
"psychological complex," science destroys man's sense of
moral responsibility. The present state of the world shows where that
leads. - Paul Tournier, M.D.
Also see The Good Doctor (Oaths, Quotes, and Prayers for Physicians)
and Absolute Truths of Medicine (Dr. Michael S. Cole).
(visit The Quotations Page or Bartleby.com for online quotations about
almost anything. See also Dr. Michael Cole's list of Wise Thoughts and
The Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia Quotes page.)
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