We in medicine have a heritage coming down to us through the ages, from the widespread interest in writing about, and talking about, medicine and its problems. This can be taken as an inspiring challenge in our work. We know that there can never be perfection, and may feel about our patients as Marcus Aurelius did about his people, in that he could not give them what they deserved, or what he would like them to have. But he gave his life in trying, and left us part of our heritage from nonmedical sources.
For these reasons, it seemed worth while to look further into our situation, from the standpoint of what others may think of us, and write about us, in the pursuit of the ever-popular, and ever-present, subject of medicine and the health of the individual. Health problems, along with truth, as Socrates said, belong to everyone; and
BROWN JB. Examples of the Inspiring Challenge to Medicine in Literature Through the Ages. AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(5):671-677. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320050003001