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April 3, 1967

A Few Words With Socrates About Doctors

Author Affiliations

The author is the English editor for a United Nations organization.

JAMA. 1967;200(1):41-43. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120140099016

After spending a rather long time in the steam room, I was sitting on a bench in the coolingoff room, my head back-tilted against the wall, trying not to think of the things my doctor had been saying, in his crude way, about my age and blood pressure. I was just drifting into the twilight sleep that always follows me after about 30 minutes of steam life, when there was a gentle squelch beside me and I opened my eyes, intending to give a nasty look to whoever sat there. To my surprise, it was Socrates, unmistakable even in the nude, with steam wafting around him. His solid figure and friendly eyes offset his bulldog face and I felt a strong desire to communicate with a man of such humanity and wisdom.

"Why," I said, "this is indeed a pleasure: it must be 40 years since I had the privilege