Category Archives: Quotes

Quote of the Day: The Truth About Autism

“The conclusion is that both emotional poverty and an aversion to company are not symptoms of autism but consequences of autism.” – David Mitchell from the Introduction to The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida, translated by KA Yoshida & David Mitchell


Quote of the Day

“It’s far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has.” – Hippocrates


“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” – G.K. Chesterton

Greatness isn’t…

Greatness isn’t given, it’s earned.

When Doctors Can’t Save Patients…

“I have seen the life pass from individuals too numerous to count – men, women, and children – as they died in my presence. And I have on countless occasions borne the unpleasant responsibility of breaking the gut-wrenching news to family members and friends – who just hours prior saw their spouses or loved ones off to work or school – that the person whom they once loved so very dearly in life, had now passed on to the world of the dead. I have heard the wailing and the screaming of grieving mothers, and I have seen the faces of the victims’ fathers age before my very eyes. I have often felt that for every family to whom I have given the terrible news, I myself have sacrificed at least a few days of my own life.”

– Dr. James Cole

A quote from Trauma: My Life As An Emergency Surgeon by Dr. James Cole

This paragraph of text shows the personal hardship a trauma surgeon, or any physician for that matter, must endure with each patient they are unable to save.

Make A Difference

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

– John F. Kennedy

Americans, Death & Healthcare

“Americans don’t understand death. We cannot accept that death will come, and thus we cannot make a plan, talk reasonably about it, work our way to understanding, to the basic part of our humanity. This attitude – a combination of perpetual optimism, refusing the dark, and not living in reality – is unfair to patients, doctors, and insurance companies.”

– From How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick In America by Otis Webb Brawley, MD, with Paul Goldberg

A staggering statistic presented in this book just before the above quote states that 24% of Medicare spending & 15% of all health spending occurs during a patient’s last year of life. Unfortunately, much of this spending is done with little hope of benefiting the patient.

Quotes from How We Do Harm

“Psychological and emotional support are legitimate reasons for admittance, though most insurance companies and Medicaid would disagree.”

“…an insured patient with Stage II colon cancer had better odds of being alive five years after diagnosis than an uninsured patient with what should be highly curable Stage I cancer.”

“…no incident of failure in American medicine should be dismissed as an aberration. Failure is the system, and those of us who are not yet its victims are at high risk of being sucked into its turbines.”

“When we, doctors, are at our best, we set aside our self-interest and put the patient’s interest first. When we aren’t at your best, the public pays more in fees, insurance premiums, taxes – and poor outcomes.”

“The problem is, we don’t use our expensive drugs and technologies appropriately. Instead of using these interventions to benefit patients, we use them to maximize revenues, and often harm patients.”

“Patients need to understand that more care is not better care, that doctors are not necessarily right, and that some doctors are not even truthful.”

From How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America by Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., with Paul Goldberg

Although I’m still reading this book, these are a few quotes that stood out to me in the first three chapters.

An Educated Mind – Be Firm in Your Beliefs

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

– Aristotle

Avoiding Criticism

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”


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