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Doctors

  • My doctor is nice; every time I see him I'm ashamed of what I think about doctors in general.

  • If all power corrupts, then a doctor, who literally holds life and death in his hands, must be at particular risk.

    • P.D. James,
    • "A Fictional Prognosis," in Dilys Winn, Murder Ink ()
  • ... people coming away from a session with Dr. S. usually looked as if they had had fifty minutes on the anvil with an apprentice blacksmith.

  • Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

  • Many people are intimidated by doctors. ... People also feel stupid when they don't understand what a doctor's talking about the first time around, so they don't ask again. And let's be honest here, people. English is not a doctor's first language.

  • It's no trifle at her time at her time of life to part with a doctor who knows her constitution.

    • George Eliot,
    • "Janet's Repentance," Scenes of Clerical Life ()
  • ... he had been up until three with an old woman who thought she was sick, and he had been routed out of bed again at five because she told her family that she was going to die. William King was not given to sarcasm, but he longed to say to the waiting relatives, 'There is no hope! — she'll live.'

  • I love to go to the doctor. Where else would a man look at me and say, 'Take off your clothes'?

  • Good doctors get a mechanic's pleasure in making you tick over.

  • ... my present Profession is Physick — Now, when my Pockets are full, I cure a Patient in three Days; when they are empty, I keep him three Months.

  • You know doctors. For every one thing they tell you, there are two things hidden under the tongue.

  • ... he bore the stamp of the unforgivable sin in a physician — uncertainty.

  • ... he will persist in laboring under the delusion that patients want commonsense instead of magic.

  • You are taken sick; you send for a physician; he comes in, stays ten minutes, prescribes for you a healing medicine, and charges you three or four dollars. You call this 'extortionate' — forgetting the medical books he must have waded through, the revolting dissections he must have witnessed and participated in, and the medical lectures he must have digested, to have enabled him to pronounce on your case so summarily and satisfactorily.

  • Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell.

  • Surgeons must be very careful / When they take the knife! / Underneath their fine incisions / Stirs the Culprit — Life!

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1859, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Doctors! Their cures kill the patients, and their explanations, the relatives.

  • I would never go to see a male gynecologist. That would be like having your car worked on by a garage mechanic who never owned a car.

    • Carrie Snow,
    • 1981, in Bob Chieger, Was It Good for You, Too? ()
  • My pills are in that [lost] suitcase too. Well, why should I live forever? I won't drop dead, I often neglect to take them. My doctor is a hypochondriac.

  • Ah, what a grudge I owe physicians! what mummery is their art!

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1676, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 4 ()
  • Indeed, doctors argue that medicine is an 'art' rather than a science. And naturally, it is much more difficult for physician-peers to criticize and evaluate each other's 'artistic' judgments and performances than it would be for them to hold each other responsible for conforming to standard practices in objectively measured situations.

  • Indeed, the very definition of what constitutes a medical mistake is carefully controlled by doctors.

  • Keeping the patient uninformed and closing ranks with regard to information are two of the ways that doctors limit the power and autonomy of patients.

  • Ethel's husband stayed in his office or walked through the halls carrying his little black bag like a small sample cut from the shadow of death.

  • That's the worst of doctors. They are so keen about the body, but they don't study the soul at all.

  • Patients did not usually interrupt his rounds and any delay in his progress caused as much concern among the staff as if an important train carrying bullion had been held up by bandits.

  • Historically speaking, it has generally been deemed far more appropriate for ladies to marry M.D.s than to earn them.

  • Doctors always think anybody doing something they aren't is a quack; also they think all patients are idiots.

  • 'Somebody that's not busy call for the ambulance,' said the doctor in the off-hand voice young doctors adopt for terrible occasions.

  • The Doctor's Motto: Have patients.

    • Ethel Watts Mumford,
    • in Oliver Herford, Ethel Watts Mumford, and Addison Mizner, The Complete Cynic ()
  • [On her nose job:] He just wanted to get that knife into me. He'd cut you if you had dandruff.

    • Fanny Brice,
    • in Norman Katkov, The Fabulous Fanny ()
  • A surgeon is as close as a man can get to being God. A heart surgeon doesn't even deign to be interested in being God. It would involve a cut in pay.

  • You know what the difference between a cardiac surgeon and God is? God doesn't think he's a cardiac surgeon.

  • Doctors, by God; washing their hands, looking out windows, fiddling with dreadful things while you are stretched out on a table or half undressed on a chair.

  • Don't you loathe it when doctors use the word 'we' when it applies only and solely to yourself?

  • I had never gone to a doctor in my adult life, feeling instinctively that doctors meant either cutting or, just as bad, diet.

  • I look upon a rich physician with as much suspicion as a rich priest.

  • I suppose one has a greater sense of intellectual degradation after an interview with a doctor than from any other human experience.

    • Alice James,
    • 1890, in Anna Robeson Burr, Alice James ()
  • There aren't enough doctors in Africa. Those who choose to become doctors here don't do it for the money or because they want to do good. They do it because they have to heal, the way most people need to breathe or eat or love.

  • Every theory in medicine, if medicine is to remain healthy, must be beaten out on the anvil of skepticism. So do we weed out charlatanism.

  • Medicine is a wonderful career for a woman — but it does cut down your social life!

  • Other books have been written by men physicians ... One would suppose in reading them that women possessed but one class of physical organs, and that these are always diseased. Such teaching is pestiferous, and tends to cause and perpetuate the very evils it professes to remedy.

  • Menopause is a dream specialty for the mediocre medic. Dealing with it requires no surgical or diagnostic skill. It is not itself a life-threatening condition, so a patient's death is always somebody else's fault. There is no scope for malpractice suits. Patients must return again and again for a battery of tests and check-ups, all of which earn money for the medic ...

  • Every time Dan tried to steer the discussion toward cultural issues, the residents yanked it back to a debate on the relative merits of labetalol and hydralazine as antihypertensives. This is the kind of thinking that has begotten the cartoon-version M.D., the all-head-no-heart formalist who, when presented with a problem, would rather medicate it, scan it, suture it, splint it, excise it, anesthetize it, or autopsy it than communicate with it. Fortunately, most real-life doctors ... are not automatons.

  • Individually doctors are kind to nurses; collectively they are indifferent to an appalling degree.

  • Few gynecologists recommend to their heterosexual patients the most foolpoof of solutions, namely, misterectomy.

  • Heart surgeons do not have the world's smallest egos: when you ask them to name the world's three leading practitioners, they never can remember the names of the other two.

    • Sara Paretsky,
    • "The Case of the Pietro Andromache," in Marilyn Wallace, ed., Sisters in Crime ()
  • For three days and nights I suffered the tortures of the damned, and Death was at my bedside, accompanied by his satellites in the shape of a species of men who are still more terrible than the Furies, and who have been invented for the sole purpose of horrifying modesty and scandalizing nature.

  • The real trouble with the doctor image in America is that it has been grayed by the image of the doctor-as-businessman, the doctor-as-bureaucrat, the doctor-as-medical-robot, and the doctor-as-terrified-victim-of-malpractice-suits.

  • I never kept a book or sent a bill during the first ten years of my practice, theorizing that patients belong to one of three classes: those whom no one could prevent paying their bills; those who never pay any bills, even under pressure; and those, to which the vast majority of patients belong, who pay their bills if pleased with the service, and if it is humanly possible.

  • ... my small nephew was out walking with me along Chestnut Street. I stopped to exchange a few words with a friend I met. When he had gone on, my nephew asked: 'Who's that man?' 'A doctor I work with at the hospital,' I explained. 'A doctor!' my nephew exclaimed in genuine surprise; 'he can't be, he's a man!' All of his medical experience to date had been with his aunt and other women doctors.

  • No professional doors have opened more slowly to women than the portals of medicine; but, as medicine itself outgrew superstition and magical potions to become a science, so have women gained a place in it, not supplanting men but supplementing them.

  • The surgeon is quiet, he does not speak. / He has seen too much death, his hands are full of it.

    • Sylvia Plath,
    • "The Courage of Shutting-Up," Winter Trees ()

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  • Instead of wishing to see more doctors made by women joining what there are, I wish to see as few doctors, either male or female, as possible. For, mark you, the women have made no improvement, they have only tried to be 'men' and they have only succeeded in being third-rate men.

    • ,
    • in Martha Vicinus and Bea Nergaard, eds., Ever Yours, Florence Nightingale: Selected Letters ()
  • The practice of anesthesia has been described as hours of boredom interrupted by moments of panic.