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April 1965

"The Best and Noblest"

Arch Surg. 1965;90(4):457-459. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320100001001

ELECTION to high office, especially one which represents a professional pinnacle, is something of a paradox. It lifts a man from the mainstream where he has lived all his life to the podium where he is expected to reflect on life.

This is a great honor to bestow on a man, especially when there is still much work to be done, much more to be learned.

Yet this is the doctor's paradox: When should the man of medicine take precious time from the pressing problems of pain and death to reflect on the meaning of it all?

Hippocrates, as you know, put this dilemma to us simply yet eloquently when he wrote: "Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experiment perilous, and decision difficult."

And then, added the great teacher: "The physician must not only be preapred to do what is right himself, but also make the patient,

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