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Special Communication
November 1968

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(5):453-456. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00040010453016

The frenzied but exciting situation in which medicine finds itself today reminds one of Goethe's familiar ballad, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."1 When the magician's back was turned the apprentice commanded the battered broomstick lying in the corner to do his bidding without realizing what might be in store for him.

Don a pair of legs now Bear the pail at once. Toil until with water clear, ye Fill the bath to overflowing.1 The broom flew into action and soon there was pandemonium. See, 'tis off—'tis at the river In the stream the bucket flashes. Again, again and quicker!

The floor is in a swim And every stoop and bickle Is running o'er the brim.1

The anxious apprentice could not remember how to command the broom to resume its place, so he called frantically for his master. Such is our position today! Our combined research, teaching, and service activities are "running o'er