M. Talmage Moorehead

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I Bailed On My Medical Practice

My Show-Don’t-Tell Obsession

((This writer reminds me of the unutterable Lu Xun Xiansheng, the legendary writer of the Chinese revolutionary era, who also quit a medical career to write. Lu Xun’s rationale was that he thought that writing was more important than medicine for him and his country, and he was right. Lu Xun had a hard life as a result of his decision, but he became a world-class author, and his perceptions were critical in helping to guide China’s direction through that critical period. Today, who even remembers all the physicans that were practicing in China at the time? But everyone in China knows who Lu Xun was. His literary legacy has become immortal, and rightfully so.

What writers and doctors have in common is disciplined perception. Doctors know how absolutely difficult it is to see what you’re looking at in a diseased body, and are trained to pierce the subjectivity of naive perception, to the point of being able to fix what they then accurately can see. Writers who become world-class social critics have exactly the same skill. They share their deep and fully-expressed perception, and by so doing, guide their societies forward. -vshr))

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