Thursday, August 20, 2015

Surgeon torn between human emotions and professional duties

I want to cry for those in whose bellies I find disseminated tumors, but cannot for fear of being unable to see clearly enough to sew them closed. I want to sit and linger with my patients, but know that such inefficiency would never work in the clinical world. I want to be able to soothe my patients' suffering without the burden of knowing the inexorable future course of their diseases.
Pauline W. Chen, Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality  (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), ch. 6

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