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June 28, 2004


Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(12):1269-1272. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.12.1269

Slowly stroking his bushy mustache, he pondered his likeness in the large, ornately framed oil painting on the office wall. It was like looking in an ancient mirror. Singer Sargent had done an admirable job, he thought, an opinion shared at the time by his Hopkins' colleagues who had posed alongside him in the London studio. Sadly, all were long gone. The arctic loneliness of his great age engulfed him. He felt displaced into an unfamiliar and mystifying world, adrift in time, like a character in a Verne or Wells novel. What in God's name am I doing here now? he wondered. Have I somehow escaped mortality? Is this an aberration of my mind? A dream? A nightmare? Is this the afterlife?

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