Here two artists advise possible apprentices:
Rainer Marie Rilke counsels a young poet, “Go into yourself…acknowledge to yourself whether you would have die if it were denied you to write.”
Nadia Boulanger when asked what advice she would give to a young musician, she replied:
“Do not take up music unless you would rather die than not do it. It must be an indissoluble love. And one with the great joy of learning, the firm determination to learn, the unswerving perseverance, the intense faithfulness. But primarily if it is not better to die than not do music-then it is an excuse. And if not then why, why?”
I never felt this way about practising medicine. At times I thought that I would rather die than continue medicine. These times when I felt culpable for a patient’s bad outcome.
Rilke and Boulanger both describe an urge, a dare to go all the way, a clear call that may not be denied (Masefield’s Sea Fever), a vocation.
Should the word vocation be applied to medicine? What advice would you give to a medical apprentice?
Striving for aequanimitas,
John Mary Meagher
- Your Theory of Error Matters
- Meditate on death to live more fully.
- Tolstoy’s Ivan Illyich asks, “how have I lived?” A Cautionary Tale.
- Ivan Illyich’s Doctors treat his disease but neglect him.
- The Elephant in the Dark House
- “Needless” Mr. Lemond’s reflection on end of life gasping for breath.
- We see what we expect to see.
- The ageless conquest of oneself
- The Inner Game of Golf- of Medicine
- What advice would you give to a medical student?
- “That was a curious incident – the corneal abrasion did not pain.
- Poems to jolt when humanity has flat-lined in the hosptial
- Heard at a Journal Club On “the Difficult Encounter”
- Brochure for upcoming CME event: Staying Tuned La Malbaie, May 8th, 2016
- Staying Tuned CME May 8th at La Malbaie QC
- Percocet (oxycodone): This White Collar Heroin is a dog collar. Who will escape?
- Is Cynicism pernicious to your health?
- Should the privileged get privileged care?
- Antoine Saint de Exupery (or The Carpenter and his Block of Wood)
- Heartsink is a better term than Difficult Patient?
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