Doctor's Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 628 quotes )
For this was the point, surely: he would be a better doctor for having read literature. What deep readings his modified sensibility might make of human suffering, of the self-destructive folly or sheer bad luck that drive men toward ill health! Birth, death, and frailty in between. Rise and fall – this was the doctor’s business, and it was literature’s too. He was thinking of the nineteenth-century novel. Broad tolerance and the long view, an inconspicously warm heart and cool judgement; his kind of doctor would be alive to the monstrous patterns of fate, and to the vain and comic denial of the inevitable; he would press the enfeebled pulse, hear the expiring breath, feel the fevered hand begin to cool and reflect, in the manner that only literature and religion teach, on the puniness and nobility of mankind.
There is nothing like a doorbell to precipitate the potential into the kinetic. When you stand outside a door and push the button, something has to happen. Someone must respond; whatever is inside must be revealed. Questions will be answered, uncertainties or mysteries dispelled. A situation will be started on its way through unknown complications to an unpredictable conclusion. The answer to your summons may be to a rush of tearful welcome, a suspicious eye at the crack of the door, a shot through the hardwood, anything. Any pushing of any doorbell button is as rich in dramatic possibility as that scene in Chekhov when, just as the Zemstvo doctor's only child dies if diphtheria and the doctor's wife drops to her knees beside the bed and the doctor, smelling of carbolic, takes an uncertain step backward, the bell sounds sharply in the hall.
The household was pervaded by this atmosphere of a calm adult woman and a man who gave into animal impulses. She reported to him in great detail what her analyst ... said about his binges and his hostility; she used Charley's money to pay Dr. Andrews to catalog his abnormalities. And of course Charley never heard anything directly from the doctor; he had no way of keeping her from reporting what served her and holding back what did not. The doctor, too, had no way of getting to the truth of what she told him; no doubt she only gave him the facts that suited her picture, so that the doctor's picture of Charley was based on what she wanted him to know. By the time she had edited both going and coming there was little of it outside her control.
An oncology ward is a battlefield, and there are definite hierarchies of command. The patients, they're the ones doing the tour of duty. The doctors breeze in and out like conquering heroes, but they need to read your child's chart to remember where they've left off from the previous visit. It is the nurses who are the seasoned sergeants -- the ones who are there when your baby is shaking with such a high fever she needs to be bathed in ice, the ones who can teach you how to fluch a central venous catheter, or suggest which patient floor might still have Popsicles left to be stolen, or tell you which dry cleaners know how to remove the stains of blood and chemotherapies from clothing. The nurses know the name of your daughter's stuffed walrus and show her how to make tissue paper flowers to twine around her IV stand. The doctor's may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable.
Standing there, the doctor's wife watched the two blind men who were arguing, she noticed they made no gestures, that they barely moved their bodies, having quickly learned that only their voice and hearing now served any purpose, true, they had their arms, that they could fight, grapple, come to blows, as the saying goes, but a bed swapped by mistake was not worth so much fuss, if only all life's deceptions were like this one, and all they had to do was to come to some agreement, Number two is mine, yours is number three, let that be understood once and for all, Were it not for the fact that we're blind this mix-up would never had happened, You're right, our problem is that we're blind. The doctor's wife said to her husband, The whole world is right here.
So I told [the doctor] about my hay fever, which used to rage just in summertime but now simmers the year round, and he listened listlessly as though it were a cock and bull story; and we sat there for a few minutes and neither of us was interested in the other's nose, but after a while he poked a little swab up mine and made a smear on a glass slide and his assistant put it under the microscope and found two cells which delighted him and electrified the whole office, the cells being characteristic of a highly allergic system. The doctor's manner changed instantly and he was full of the enthusiasm of discovery and was as proud of the two little cells as though they were his own.
There was some faint coughing, a moan, and then a man spoke. "Are you all right, darling?" he asked. "Yes," a woman said wearily. "Yes, I'm all right, I guess," and then she added with great feeling, "But you know, Charlie, I don't feel like myself anymore. Sometimes there are about fifteen or twenty minutes in the week when I feel like myself. I don't like to go to another doctor, because the doctor's bills are so awful already, but I just don't feel like myself, Charlie. I just never feel like myself.
The fatal combination of indulgence without feeling disgusts me. Strange to be both greedy and dead. For myself, I prefer to hold my desires just out of reach of appetite, to keep myself honed and sharp. I want the keen edge of longing. it is so easy to be a brute and yet it has become rather fashionable. Is that the consequence of leaving your body to science? Of assuming that another pill, another drug, another car, another pocket-sized home-movie station, a DNA transfer, or the complete freedom of choice that five hundred TV channels must bring, will make everything all right? Will soothe the nagging pain in the heart that the latest laser scan refuses to diagnose? The doctor's surgery is full of men and women who do not know why they are unhappy. "Take this", says the Doctor, "you'll soon feel better." They do not feel better, because, little by little, they cease to feel at all.
Many governments employ torture but this was the first time that the element of Saturnalia and pornography in the process had been made so clear to me. If you care to imagine what any inadequate or cruel man might do, given unlimited power over a woman, then anything that you can bring yourself to suspect was what became routine in ESMA, the Navy Mechanics School that became the headquarters of the business. I talked to Dr. Emilio Mignone, a distinguished physician whose daughter Monica had disappeared into the precincts of that hellish place. What do you find to say to a doctor and a humanitarian who has been gutted by the image of a starving rat being introduced to his daughter's genitalia? Like hell itself the school was endorsed and blessed by priests, in case any stray consciences needed to be stilled.