“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.” This quote from Anton Chekhov, perhaps the most famous doctor–writer, appears in the flyleaf of The pen & the stethoscope, a collection of stories by doctor–writers. Despite my misgivings about presenting fiction and non-fiction in the same volume, this is a seamless set of narratives by doctors, from varying specialties, who are also accomplished writers. It demonstrates that we, as doctors, have moved beyond the 19th century and Chekhov’s need to separate our scientific and humane selves in the clinical setting.
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