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The Surgeon, Healer With Work at Hand Presidential Address

John K. Stevenson, MD
Arch Surg. 1989;124(10):1123-1126. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410100021004.
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On the front cover of this year's program there was a picture of a headdress of an Indian medicine man, that of a shaman of the Tlingit Indians from here in the Pacific Northwest (Fig 1). It is said that he was so highly regarded as a healer that he even was called on to attend to some of the early settlers who fell ill. He was affectionately known as Doctor Pete. (Fig 2).

In the painting by Sir Luke Fildes (1844 to 1927), entitled The Doctor (1891, Fig 3), the physician posing for the painting is Dr John McDonald who lived and practiced on the Hebrides Island group off the west coast of Scotland. Each picture depicts an individual trusted by his patients, respected by his peers, honored in his lesser community, and esteemed in his greater society. Neither of them—the shaman with his patient and the physician at


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