Alan G. Wasserstein, MD
Medicine is the oldest of the arts and the oldest of the sciences, writes neurologist Oliver Sacks. But the growth of the science has threatened the art. There is a subtle opposition between the two faces of medicine: The science (generalizing) fits the patient into broad categories; the art (personalizing) recognizes the patient as unique. With the increasingly scientific emphasis in medicine today, the empathy and humaneness of the personal encounter begin to seem difficult, if not supererogatory. They are moral, rather than scientific obligations, and, possibly the first casualties of a hectic schedule.
But what if they were essential
Wasserstein AG. Toward a Romantic Science: The Work of Oliver Sacks. Ann Intern Med. 1988;109:440–444. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-5-440
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(5):440-444.
Copyright © 2018 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use