Medicine: God Save the King

"A wise surgeon," warned a wise 13th century surgeon, "will refrain from stealing while he is in attendance on a patient." Other maxims for medieval physicians, who found Hippocrates rather hoary: impress the patient by diagnosing his condition before examination, always tell relatives the case is very grave, assume that a fast pulse only means worry over your fee. Last week British physicians were chuckling over dozens of such memories, recalled in Call the Doctor, by Ernest S. Turner, a frequent Punch contributor whose previous social histories have deflated the egos of British reformers, admen and Blimps.

Author Turner's most savage anecdotes...

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