Medicine is of all the Arts the most noble; but, not withstanding,
owing to the ignorance of those who practice it, and of those who,
inconsiderately, form a judgment of them, it is at present far behind
all the other arts. Their mistake appears to me to arise principally
from this, that in the cities there is no punishment connected with
the practice of medicine (and with it alone) except disgrace
|In this passage it would seem to be asserted, that in the time of the writer there was no punishment of mala praxis except the disgrace which it entailed. Many other passages in the Hippocratic treatises would lead to the inference that a more severe responsibility attached to the physciian for unfortunate practice; as we often find the practitioner warned not to have anything to do with certain cases. Here the author of this treatise seems to regret the want of a proper medical police.
that does not hurt those who are familiar with it. Such persons are
like the figures which are introduced in tragedies, for as they have
the shape, and dress, and personal appearance of an actor, but are
not actors, so also physicians are many in title but very few in reality.
Whoever is to acquire a competent knowledge of medicine, ought to
be possessed of the following advantages: a natural disposition; instruction;
a favorable position for the study; early tuition; love of labor;
leisure. First of all, a natural talent is required; for, when Nature
opposes, everything else is in vain; but when Nature leads the way
to what is most excellent, instruction in the art takes place, which
the student must try to appropriate to himself by reflection, becoming
an early pupil in a place well adapted for instruction. He must also
bring to the task a love of labor and perseverance, so that the instruction
taking root may bring forth proper and abundant fruits.
Instruction in medicine is like the culture of the productions