An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


Cure the disease and kill the patient.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


When a man goes through six years training to be a doctor he will never be the same. He knows too much.


Enid Bagnold (1889-1981, British novelist, playwright)


One of the fundamental reasons why so many doctors become cynical and disillusioned is precisely because, when the abstract idealism has worn thin, they are uncertain about the value of the actual lives of the patients they are treating. This is not because they are callous or personally inhuman: it is because they live in and accept a society which is incapable of knowing what a human life is worth.


John Berger (1926-, British actor, critic)


Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.


H. G. Bohn (British publisher)


Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.


Erma Bombeck (1927-, American author, humorist)

Author's website:


Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.


Erma Bombeck (1927-, American author, humorist)

Author's website:


Doctors will have more lives to answer for in the next world than even we generals.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


Doctors are just the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.


Anton Chekhov (1860-1904, Russian playwright, short story writer)


He is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834, British poet, critic, philosopher)


Surgeons must be very careful. When they take the knife!, underneath their fine incisions, stirs the Culprit -- Life!


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American poet)


The best doctor is the one you run to and can't find.


Denis Diderot (1713-1784, French philosopher)


I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930, British author, "Sherlock Holmes")


Employment is nature's physician, and is essential to human happiness.


Claudius Galen (130-200, Physician born in Pergamus)


What I call a good patient is one who, having found a good physician, sticks to him till he dies.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes.


Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536, Dutch humanist)


The practice of medicine is a thinker's art, the practice of surgery a plumber's.


Martin H. Fisher


God heals and the doctor takes the fee.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


The doctor found, when she was dead, her last disorder mortal.


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright)


The physician's highest calling, his only calling, is to make sick people healthy -- to heal, as it is termed.


Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843, German physician, founder of Homeopathy)


I have noticed that doctors who fail in the practice of medicine have a tendency to seek one another's company and aid in consultation. A doctor who cannot take out your appendix properly will recommend you to a doctor who will be unable to remove your tonsils with success.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


Deceive not thy physician, confessor, nor lawyer.


George Herbert (1593-1632, British metaphysical poet)


Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult.


Hippocrates (Ancient Greek physician)


Whenever a doctor cannot do good, he must be kept from doing harm.


Hippocrates (Ancient Greek physician)


I suppose one has a greater sense of intellectual degradation after an interview with a doctor than from any human experience.


Alice James (1848-1892, American diarist, sister of William James)


My doctor gave me six months to live but when I couldn't pay the bill, he gave me six months more.


Walter Matthau (1920-, American actor)


I wasn't driven into medicine by a social conscience but by rampant curiosity.


Jonathan Miller (1934-, British actor, director)


Instead of wishing to see more doctors made by women joining what there are, I wish to see as few doctors, either male or female, as possible. For, mark you, the women have made no improvement -- they have only tried to be "men" and they have only succeeded in being third-rate men.


Florence Nightingale (1820-1910, British nurse)


The first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.


Sir William Osler (1849-1919, Canadian physician)


Time is generally the best doctor.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


Is it not also true that no physician, in so far as he is a physician, considers or enjoins what is for the physician's interest, but that all seek the good of their patients? For we have agreed that a physician strictly so called, is a ruler of bodies, and not a maker of money, have we not?


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


Cured yesterday of my disease, I died last night of my physician.


Matthew Prior (1664-1721, British diplomat, poet)


For each illness that doctors cure with medicine, they provoke ten in healthy people by inoculating them with the virus that is a thousand times more powerful than any microbe: the idea that one is ill.


Marcel Proust (1871-1922, French novelist)


The best doctor prevents illness, a mediocre one treats illnesses that are about to occur, and an unskilled one treats current illnesses.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


The superior doctor prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor treats actual sickness;


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


A surgeon should be young, a physician old.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Physician, heal thyself.


Hebrew Proverb (Sayings of Hebrew origin)


Every invalid is a physician.


Irish Proverb (Sayings of Irish origin)


If the doctor cures, the sun sees it; if he kills, the earth hides it.


Scottish Proverb (Sayings of Scottish origin)


There are more old drunkards than old physicians.


Francois Rabelais (1495-1553, French satirist, physician, and humanist)


Temperance and labor are the two real physicians of man.


Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778, Swiss political philosopher, educationist, essayist)


The doctor learns that if he gets ahead of the superstitions of his patients he is a ruined man; and the result is that he instinctively takes care not to get ahead of them.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


Doctors don't know everything really. They understand matter, not spirit. And you and I live in spirit.


William Saroyan (1908-1981, American writer, novelist, playwright)


Every doctor will allow a colleague to decimate a whole countryside sooner than violate the bond of professional etiquette by giving him away.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


I know of nothing more laughable than a doctor who does not die of old age.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


There are worse occupations in this world than feeling a woman's pulse.


Laurence Sterne (1713-1768, British author)


The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


He has been a doctor a year now and has had two patients, no, three, I think -- yes, it was three; I attended their funerals.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


A patient going to a doctor for his first visit was asked, "And whom did you consult before coming to me?" "Only the village druggist," was the answer. "And what sort of foolish advice did that numbskull give you?" asked the doctor, his tone and manner denoting his contempt for the advice of the layman. "Oh," replied his patient, with no malice aforethought, "he told me to come and see you."


Author Unknown


The difference between an itch and an allergy is about one hundred bucks.


Author Unknown


The doctor knows what his trained eyes see -- and he says it's the last of the ninth for me. So one more thing while the clouds loom dark and then I must leave this noisy park.


Author Unknown


Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


Men who are occupied in the restoration of health to other men, by the joint exertion of skill and humanity, are above all the great of the earth. They even partake of divinity, since to preserve and renew is almost as noble as to create.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


The majority of the diseases which the human family have been and still are suffering under, they have created by ignorance of their own organic health, and work perseveringly to tear themselves to pieces, and when broken down and debilitated in body and mind, send for the doctor and drug themselves to death.


Ellen Gould White (1827-1915, American seventh-day Adventist leader)


For what Harley Street specialist has time to understand the body, let alone the mind or both in combination, when he is a slave to thirteen thousand a year?


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British novelist, essayist)


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