James Le Fanu

Physician, Enrich Thyself

Can Medicine Be Cured? The Corruption of a Profession


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Medicine has lost its mojo. To be sure, the technological ingenuity of keyhole surgery is amazing, the previously inconceivable (in vitro fertilisation, curing childhood cancer) is now routine and every year tens of thousands of people previously doomed to blindness by cataracts or being crippled by arthritis have their sight or mobility restored. Yet for all the immense good that medicine does, for those who have laboured in its vineyards for any length of time it is no longer the noble calling it once was. ‘I qualified just as the golden age of medicine was ending,’ writes Seamus O’Mahoney. ‘In the thirty-five years since then, I have worked in … many hospitals. I have witnessed … the corruption of my profession.’

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