Tag Archives: Somerset Maugham

Why do physicians write so badly?

Peter Arnold Sydney, Australia   Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels An old joke is that pharmacists are the only people who can read physicians’ handwriting. This piece is not about handwriting, but about writing style. Compared with great medical authors, like Somerset Maugham, Conan Doyle, Anton Chekhov, John Keats, and Friedrich von Schiller, most […]

Somerset Maugham

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig 1. Somerset Maugham by Graham Sutherland, black chalk, pencil and gouache, 1953. NPG 5327 I have two professions, not one. Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress; when I get tired of one I spend the night with the other. -Anton Chekov, 1888 As a graduate […]

The most enduring fictional character in literature, Sherlock Holmes, created by a physician

Marshall A. Lichtman Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York   Figure 1. Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Homes) with pipe and Nigel Bruce (Dr. John H. Watson). A scene from the film “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” in 1939. The plots rarely adhered to the Conan Doyle story plots and Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard and Dr. Watson […]