THE MAXIMS OF MEDICINE
Before you examine the body of a patient,
Be patient to learn his story.
For once you learn his story,
You will also come to know
Before you diagnose any sickness,
Make sure there is no sickness in the mind or heart.
For the emotions in a man’s moon or sun,
Can point to the sickness in
Any one of his other parts.
Before you treat a man with a condition,
Know that not all cures can heal all people.
For the chemistry that works on one patient,
May not work for the next,
Because even medicine has its own
Before asserting a prognosis on any patient,
Always be objective and never subjective.
For telling a man that he will win the treasure of life,
But then later discovering that he will lose,
Will harm him more than by telling him
That he may lose,
But then he wins.
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
be good, always
A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own
– W.H. Auden 1907-1973
In the now rare moments that I go online and check what is going on in, I look into my social media news feed, and I happily came across this message of a former schoolmate in medical school and her message to the newest batch of doctors who have passed licensure examination.
To the new Physicians of 2014:
By now, most of you are sitting in front of your computer clicking on the PRC website and hitting refresh relentlessly. Relax. The moment of reckoning is at hand. I was exactly where you are 6 months ago. I am familiar with the anxiety and the restlessness gnawing at you right now. If you can, try to savor the sweet torture of the anticipation. Remember the promises that you made and resolve to keep them. If you are still making promises, include this: Promise to be a physician that will serve your fellowmen. Promise to be a healer with integrity. Find your moral compass and follow it, no matter what. Promise to remember that arrogance and achievement DO NOT go hand in hand. But if you find that you cannot help yourself, keep in mind that arrogance COMES AFTER achievement and not before. Congratulations, 2014! Whatever the results may be, you have done your schools proud with your hard work and integrity.
Well said Rocky, well said.