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Quotes

The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.

—Sigmund Freud, 1912

No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1860

He is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1833

How many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort in a hospital.

—Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1857

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

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

—Sylvia Plath, 1963

Doctors don’t know everything really. They understand matter, not spirit. And you and I live in spirit.

—William Saroyan, 1943

When the physician said to him, “You have lived to be an old man,” he said, “That is because I never employed you as my physician.”

—Pausanias, c. 450 BC

In the name of Hippocrates doctors have invented the most exquisite form of torture ever known to man: survival.

—Luis Buñuel, 1983

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

You can’t find the soul with a scalpel.

—Gustave Flaubert, c. 1880

Medication alone is not to be relied on. In one half the cases medicine is not needed, or is worse than useless. Obedience to spiritual and physical laws—hygiene of the body and hygiene of the spirit—is the surest warrant for health and happiness.

—Harriot K. Hunt, 1856