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July 2003

Fill the Mind—and Exercise It, Too!

Author Affiliations

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Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(7):940. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.7.940-a

I read with pleasure Dr Rycroft's1 essay titled "Going to See Jack" in the "The Art and the Calling" section of the November 2002 issue of the ARCHIVES. His paean to Samuel Johnson and to the unique turn of mind of that polyglot is a poignant reminder of our own intellectual obligations to our art and to our calling. In seeking to capture the distinctive mentality of Johnson in his own words, Rycroft quotes him as writing that after a "hard journey in the Scottish highlands . . . I should have been sorry to have missed any of the inconveniences, to have had more light, or less rain, for their cooperation crowded the scene, and filled the mind." Rycroft then continued, in his own words, as follows: " ‘Filled the mind'—that surely is the key to our professional well-being."

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