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The Same Humankind

Abraham Verghese on Paracelsus and Humanity

“This is a quote that hangs in my bedroom. It is by Paracelsus, a very interesting person. His full name was Wilhelm Paracelsus Bombastus. In fact, the word ‘bombastic’ comes from Paracelsus. He was a larger-than-life character, and he thought that no one else, including Celsus, knew what was going on.

“Incredibly, he was also very focused on the patient/physician relationship in a way that it would behoove us to be reminded of. Among the many things he said was this quote: ‘To love the sick, each and every one of them, as if they were our own.’ I always think, when I hear that ‘they are our own,’ that there isn’t anything that separates you and I from the people we are taking care of in the hospital. It is the same fabric, the same humankind.”

Source: Abraham Verghese (10/9/14 interview with Eric Topol, Medscape – transcript)

About the Author

Single With Scalpel is a Pediatric Otolaryngology fellow who tweets about life, humor, and medical education. She blogs here when 140 characters simply aren’t enough.

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