“Time is the father of truth”
Last week a first-year medical student emailed me to ask about doing a summer “research” elective in medical humanities. He needs to spend some time thinking outside the cell. A few months ago I sent my clinic residents an excerpt from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Lots of our patients have substance-abuse problems, and I wanted the residents to hear DFW describe an AA meeting. They wanted more time to talk about books and reading and writing, including regular sessions outside the 80-hour work week. “OK with me, but are you sure you have the time?” Now we have a regular book group. In April our School of Medicine begins another faculty “continuing medical education” seminar series on creative writing. We’ll meet 0700-0900 on five consecutive Mondays, even though that is too late in the morning for some of the surgeons. One of our senior deans will help teach. My patients offer tips on good books and ask me what I am reading. The answer, for the last six months, was Infinite Jest. I tell them about Hospital Drive and invite them to visit. “How do you find the time?” they ask. Time: never enough. Time, plus blood, sweat, and tears in our 2012 Winter Issue.
Daniel Becker, Editor