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March 1977

The Henry Higgins Syndrome (and Its Treatment)

Author Affiliations

Albany, NY

Arch Ophthalmol. 1977;95(3):417. doi:10.1001/archopht.1977.04450030059002

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My Fair Lady is such an engaging, familiar musical with words so listenable that any analogy is usually kept well in abeyance. Only when the pace slows during Henry Higgins' melancholy related to the unappreciative behavior of his creation, Eliza Doolittle, and her similar disappointment as to his lack of acknowledgement of her hard, devoted work, does a real-life professional analogy creep in and shatter the lov-er-ly world. The analogy to the professor of ophthalmology and the finishing resident warrants a brief examination. Our professor overtly or covertly believes he has given much of himself to the resident's training. This thought is sustained as he sees the resident become a superb clinician. The resident, after working hard and tirelessly for three to four years in ophthalmology, is justifiably proud of his achievements, which he regards as having been made on his own. Thus, unexpressed angers between the professor and the

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