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“The Internist's Reading”: Literature That Illuminates Life

Edward J. Huth, MD
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Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1994;121(5):381. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-121-5-199409010-00014
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At the center of the practice of medicine is the physician constantly engaged in the unending drama played out by patients, their families, and physicians themselves. The power of the witnessed and felt joy and pain and sadness comes in large part from the physician's being both spectator and player. But there is a limit to what the physician can perceive, having only one pair of eyes, and limits to what only one brain can digest. A wider and deeper view can come through finding what other pairs of eyes have seen. That is the value of reading literature that reflects life rather than that simply describing our bodies and the various afflictions that damage them. This is the reason for our launching a new feature in this issue.

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