To be sick is to enjoy monarchal prerogatives.

—Charles Lamb, 1833

The physician should look upon the patient as a besieged city and try to rescue him with every means that art and science place at his command.

—Alexander of Tralles, c. 600

The only places where American medicine can fully live up to its possibilities are the teaching hospitals.

—Bernard De Voto, 1951

If a patient is poor, he is committed to a public hospital as “psychotic”; if he can afford the luxury of a private sanitarium, he is put there with the diagnosis of “neurasthenia”; if he is wealthy enough to be isolated in his own home under constant watch of nurses and physicians, he is simply an indisposed “eccentric.”

—Pierre Marie Janet, 1930

Well now, there’s a remedy for everything except death.

—Miguel de Cervantes, 1605

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.

—Sylvia Plath, 1963

I reckon being ill as one of the greatest pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work until one is better.

—Samuel Butler, 1903

Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, and sloth, or the Gout will seize you.

—Benjamin Franklin, 1734

I have yet, I believe, some years in store, for I have a good state of health and a happy mind, and I take care of both by nourishing the first with temperance and the latter with abundance. This, I believe, you will allow to be the true philosophy of life.

—Thomas Paine, 1803

The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man’s body.

—Francis Bacon, 1605

The best physician is he who can distinguish the possible from the impossible.

—Herophilus, c. 290 BC

Physician, heal yourself: thus you help your patient too. Let his best help be to see with his own eyes the man who makes himself well.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, c. 1884

A miracle drug is any drug that will do what the label says it will do.

—Eric Hodgins, 1964