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January 22 , 2009

Beyond the Colonnade


This book follows a previously published selection of poems and pictures by the children of Terezín and Osvtím, the ‘camp of lies’ of the Theresienstadt Ghetto and the ‘camp of death’ of Auschwitz. ‘Beyond the Colonnade’ is a selection of notes on situations and individuals encountered over decades of community-based primary care practice, starting in the East End of London and terminating in Chicago. From medical school on, the lifetime of learning required by the ethical practice of medicine presents an introduction to humanism unsurpassed by any other discipline; and, by its implicit connections to other areas of scholarship, scientific, social and literary, a first-rate general education. Such learning is reinforced daily by the diversity of human contact. The exercise of the craft affords the practitioner an entrée to large communities, small homes and to the privileged communication of individuals. It offers a unique vantage point from which to observe the broad spectrum of human motivation, emotion and response and to become acquainted with the impact of societal and economic realities on the enjoyment of health and the experience of disease. Of this wider view of the medical life, the lines which follow may stand in evidence of such a claim. For every physician who maintains an unrestricted practice, consider: that, when the whole world can walk in at the door, the unusual and fascinating are always to be expected! Cover picture: The Colonnade, Guy’s Hospital, London, 1972
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