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July 20, 1964

Cardiologist's Soliloquy

JAMA. 1964;189(3):242. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070030064031

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To the Editor:—  Now that Polonius and Hamlet have been cast as doctors ("Polonius' Counsel to Authors," JAMA187:947 [March 21] 1964; and "Hamlet's Advice to Speakers," JAMA187:1017 [June 15] 1964), why not introduce Shakespeare to specialization? Hamlet himself could become a practicing cardiologist who expresses his uncertainty in this fashion:To anticoagulate or not to anticoagulate: that is the question: Whether it is easier on the mind to worry about tourniquets and the reports of laboratories, or take arms against the weight of authority, and by opposing refuse to go along? To shorten the heartache, to avoid the shock that flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. But what to do needs must give us pause. To thin the blood: to prolong the times: then maybe to bleed! perchance to flow! Or avoid the daily dose and lose the name of action

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