Medicine – science or religion?


Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

[Never admit that you are wrong]

Medicine has always occupied an often uncomfortable space between science and belief. I remember when I started medical school the Dean of the medical school welcomed us to the main lecture hall. He told us how wonderful it was that we had chosen to become doctors, and waffled on for a bit about how we were the chosen few. He finished his speech with these words, which etched themselves into my brain… ‘Welcome to the brotherhood.’

Of course the parallels between medicine and religion have always been obvious to anyone who has eyes to see. The patient consultation as confessional. The use of long latin words that the patient cannot understand. The rituals and incantations of medicine have clear parallels with religion. Or would that be the other way round. You could go on and on.

It is easy to understand why many aspects…

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One response

  1. Thanks for this; it matches what some other MDs (Julian Whittacker, Susan Lark, come to mind) have been cautioning.
    Add to the whole ritual that the patient (no longer offers up a goat or chicken, to be sacrificed) offers up a pretty penny….

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