Monday, December 26, 2005

Somerset Maugham

Cell phone camera fun!

Somerset Maughm, describing the experience of seeing clinic in "Of Human Bondage," sums up a great deal of what being a doctor seems to consist. It certainly encapsulates the experience I have had as a clerk over the past six months:

"There was humanity there in the rough, the materials the artist worked on...But on the whole the impression was neither of traegedy nor of comedy. There was no describing it. It was manifold and various; there were tears and laughter, happiness and woe; it was tedious and interesting and indifferent; it was as you saw it: it was tumultuous and passionate; it was grave; it was sad and comic; it was trivial; it was simple and complex; joy was there and despair; the love of mothers for their children, and of men for women; lust trailed itself through the rooms with leaden feet, punishing the guilty and the innocent, helpless wives and wretched children, drink seized men and women and cost its inevitable price; death sighed in these rooms; and the beginning of life, filling some poor girl with terror and shame, was diagnosed there. There was neither good nor bad there. It was life."

I look forward to starting internal medicine in January. Without my knowing it, this is what drew me to medicine. Like Philip, I've considered many things, and tried a few, but more and more I am convinced that no other profession would satisfy my temperment.

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