Medicine: Patientship

British Humorist Stephen Potter introduced a new approach to sport with his 1947 book, Gamesmanship: the Art of Winning at Games Without Actually Cheating (TIME, Sept. 6, 1948). Since then, he has applied his subtle new strategy to other departments (e.g., Guestmanship) in the never-ending game of life. Last week in Britain's learned medical journal, the Lancet, Philosopher Potter considered some likely gambits in the ancient game of Doctor v. Patient.

In this conflict, of course, the doctor always has the advantage of his specialized knowledge. "An intensely annoying ploy [gambit] often used by doctors," writes Potter, "is to treat Patient not...

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