Free Movement of People and Ideas Contributes to the Progress of American Medicine
A story is told about Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), the great American naturalist and philosopher, who went off to live in the woods near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Thoreau stopped reading the newspapers during his sojourn in the woods. An acquaintance heard that, after a few years, Thoreau had resumed reading the newspaper. “What have you learned by reading the newspapers again?” the friend asked. Thoreau replied, “The verbs are all the same as they were a few years ago. Only the nouns have changed.” As a medical historian interested in the history of racial, religious, and gender discrimination in medicine, I note that time is circular. We just keep repeating history. The nouns are different from what they were in the past, but the verbs are the same.
NYMC Leadership: Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer