By Bruce Kirkcaldy

This publication is an bold undertaking uniting a number of fields in a multidisciplinary enterprise drawing on lecturers and clinicians from drugs, psychology and academic sciences. The interdisciplinary process has assembled scientific, academic and future health experts - lots of whom are an extraordinary gather of remarkable teachers and clinicians - with scholarly contributions from many various nations and institutes.It  Read more...

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Satire gets you laughs, but it doesn’t get you well. Just where do we find representations of poised and successful physicians, confident professionals in white coats who enjoy social prominence, who have heft? The literary reply is: not in many places, not in older texts, and not memorable. What is memorable is the more problematic view that doctors are as wounded and needy as the people they treat. As far back as Greek tragedy there was a prescient awareness that the healing was the province of the gods, not of mortals.

Imelda’ is narrated from the perspective of Selzer-as-medical student, and it focuses on the career of Hugh Franciscus, respected, aloof, brilliant cosmetic surgeon-as-Übermensch. And, as we have seen in each story I’ve discussed, the moment of truth comes where it always comes: in the encounter with a patient. The patient is Imelda. The place is Honduras. The occasion is the yearly stint undertaken by Franciscus with a team of medical students, to do charity work. The inexperienced Selzer is asked to come because he speaks Spanish and can serve as interpreter.

But that is not all. I see something deeply arresting and significant in the spectacle of a doctor lying naked on the bed with his patient. Is Kafka telling us that this is perhaps the only way to understand the wound? Shakespeare reminded us in Lear that we are all ‘bare fork’d creatures,’ and Kafka has taken that creatural logic to the crisis-point where he often takes his stories: metamorphosis. For we cannot fail to see that the story is indeed about house-calls: in all senses of the term: the surprising things you are likely to find in your own house, but also the central encounter at the core of weinstein 35 medicine itself.

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