Lockhart B. McGuire, MD
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Vignettes or anecdotes often lack the authority of objective, analytic forms of writing. Nevertheless, we physicians sometimes feel compelled to offer these kinds of stories from our experience. Although medical vignettes may not illustrate general principles, they often contain glimpses of truth, unexpected combinations of human frailty and strength, and interesting blends of irony and idealism. Their message is one of a pervasive particularity and unpredictability in a world that looks to science for predictability and control.
As Sir William Osler observed, "To practice medicine on patients without the study of books is to sail an uncharted sea, but to
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McGuire LB. Just Beyond the Next Bend in the River: Reflections on a Medical Career. Ann Intern Med. 1991;114:83–87. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-1-83
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(1):83-87.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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