Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Martin Henry Fischer

German-born American Physician and Author

"The practice of medicine is a thinker's art, the practice of surgery a plumber's."

"The specialist is a man who fears the other subjects."

"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking."

"Education is the process of driving a set of prejudices down your throat."

"Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification."

"A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions."

"Facts are not science - as the dictionary is not literature."

"Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them."

"We humans are the greatest of earth's parasites."

"None of the great discoveries was made by a 'specialist' or a 'researcher'."

"A doctor must work eighteen hours a day and seven days a week. If you cannot console yourself to this, get out of the profession."

"Here's good advice for practice: go into partnership with nature; she does more than half the work and asks none of the fee."

"Any man who does not make himself proficient in at least two languages other than his own is a fool."

"A machine has value only as it produces more than it consumes ? so check your value to the community."

"Diagnosis is not the end, but the beginning of practice."

"Don't despise empiric truth. Lots of things work in practice for which the laboratory has never found proof."

"Research has been called good business, a necessity, a gamble, a game. It is none of these ? it's a state of mind."

"The great doctors all got their education off dirt pavements and poverty ? not marble floors and foundations."

"There is only one reason why men become addicted to drugs ? they are weak men. Only strong men are cured, and they cure themselves."

"When a man lacks mental balance in pneumonia he is said to be delirious. When he lacks mental balance without the pneumonia, he is pronounced insane by all smart doctors."

"Whenever ideas fail, men invent words."

"You must learn to talk clearly. The jargon of scientific terminology which rolls off your tongues is mental garbage."