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I had a friend who was the King's surgeon in England. One day I asked him what makes a great surgeon. He replied, "What distinguishes a great surgeon is his knowledge. He knows more than other surgeons. During an operation he finds something which he wasn't expecting, recognizes it and knows what to do about it." It's the same thing with advertising people. The good ones know more. How do you get to know more? By reading books about advertising. By picking the brains of people who know more than you do. From the Magic Lanterns. And from experience.
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A Russian cosmonaut and a Russian brain surgeon were once discussing Christianity. The brain surgeon was a Christian, but the cosmonaut wasn't. 'I have been in outer space many times,' bragged the cosmonaut, 'but I have never seen any angels.' The brain surgeon stared in amazement, but then he said, 'And I have operated on many intelligent brains, but I have never seen a single thought.
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There cannot always be fresh fields of conquest by the knife; there must be portions of the human frame that will ever remain sacred from its intrusions, at least in the surgeon's hands. That we have already, if not quite, reached these final limits, there can be little question. The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will be forever shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.
John Eric Erichsen
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The surgeon general is responsible for sharing scientifically-based information with the public so that they can improve their health. But I will say personally that my goal as surgeon general is to help build a culture of prevention in America so that we are a nation that is as good at preventing illness as we are at treating it.
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In honor of Surgeon General Koop's legacy, we should ensure that the position of surgeon general is protected from political interference, funded appropriately and nominated from the ranks of career public health professionals who merit consideration, as is done in the other uniformed services.
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C. Everett 'Chic' Koop became U.S. Surgeon General under President Reagan. He was a world renowned pediatric surgeon who had a tumultuous Senate confirmation process due to partisanship. Chic took office in January 1982, a time of 'tobacco wars' and a new and evolving terrifying disease that we ultimately came to know as AIDS.
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I give in and light another cigarette even though last night the surgeon general came on the television set and shook his finger at everybody, trying to convince us that smoking will kill us. But Mother once told me tongue kissing would turn me blind and I'm starting to think it's all just a big plot between the surgeon general and Mother to make sure no one ever has any fun.
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Supposing you've got an acute appendicitis. You've got to be operated on tonight. Would you like to have a surgeon who's read some books of anatomy and knows how to do that operation - or would you prefer to have a surgeon who refused to read all books about anatomy and relied on his own instinct?
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My father, for whose skills as a surgeon I have the deepest respect, says, "The operation with the best outcome is the one you decide not to do." Knowing when not to operate, knowing when I am in over my head, knowing when to call for the assistance of a surgeon of my father's caliber-that kind of talent, that kind of "brilliance, " goes unheralded.
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I've had opportunities before to run for office - the Republicans recruited me when I was surgeon general, to run for Congress, to run against Gov. Napolitano. But I didn't feel it was my calling... I felt, 'Well, I'm flattered, but I really would rather stay and be the doctor of the nation and stay as surgeon general.'
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Let the surgeon take care to regulate the whole regimen of the patient's life for joy and happiness by promising that he will soon be well, by allowing his relatives and special friends to cheer him and by having someone tell him jokes, and let him be solaced also by music on the viol or psaltery. The surgeon must forbid anger, hatred, and sadness in the patient, and remind him that the body grows fat from joy and thin from sadness.
Henri de Mondeville
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Assume that a surgeon has discovered how to do brain surgery, that he can do only one a month, that 1,000 persons a year need such an operation if they are to survive. How is the surgeon's scarce resource to be allocated? Charge whatever price is necessary to adjust supply and demand, say $50,000! 'For shame,' some will cry. 'Your market system will save only wealthy people.' For the moment, yes. But soon there will be hundreds of surgeons who will acquire the same skill; and, as in the case of the once scarce and expensive 'miracle drugs,' the price then will be within reach of all.
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The surgeon tells me that you're a sorcerer, " Pym said. "Is that so?" Jaki looked to the captain with the glare of the masts in his eyes. "Yes." Pym weighed this disclosure. "You speak with the dead?" "Yes." The captain's eyes screwed up intently. "What do they say to you?" "They don't talk back." Pym and Mister Blackheart laughed in unison... The captain said, "Mister Blackheart wants to know what kind of sorcerer you are." Jaki pondered a response and finally said, "I was learning to catch souls before my teacher was killed." "Souls, eh? And what do you do with them after you catch them?" "I put them back in their bodies." "Ah, then you're telling us you're a surgeon.
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Notwithstanding the fact that infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the fearless advocates of liberty and justice, we are constantly charged by the church with tearing down without building again. The church should by this time know that it is utterly impossible to rob men of their opinions. The history of religious persecution fully establishes the fact that the mind necessarily resists and defies every attempt to control it by violence. The mind necessarily clings to old ideas until prepared for the new. The moment we comprehend the truth, all erroneous ideas are of necessity cast aside. A surgeon once called upon a poor cripple and kindly offered to render him any assistance in his power. The surgeon began to discourse very learnedly upon the nature and origin of disease; of the curative properties of certain medicines; of the advantages of exercise, air and light, and of the various ways in which health and strength could be restored. These remarks ware so full of good sense, and discovered so much profound thought and accurate knowledge, that the cripple, becoming thoroughly alarmed, cried out, 'Do not, I pray you, take away my crutches. They are my only support, and without them I should be miserable indeed!' 'I am not going, ' said the surgeon, 'to take away your crutches. I am going to cure you, and then you will throw the crutches away yourself.' For the vagaries of the clouds the infidels propose to substitute the realities of earth; for superstition, the splendid demonstrations and achievements of science; and for theological tyranny, the chainless liberty of thought.
Robert G. Ingersoll
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