Quotations about   medicine

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.

All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; but the dose makes it clear that a thing is not a poison.

[Alle Ding sind Gift und nichts ohn’ Gift; allein die Dosis macht, daß ein Ding kein Gift ist.]

Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (1493-1541) German alchemist and physician [Bombast von Hohenheim]
“The Third Defense in Writing New Prescriptions [Die dritte Defension wegen des Schreibens der neuen Rezepte], Seven Defenses [Septem Defensiones] (1538)

As quoted in F. Geerk, Paracelsus: Arzt unserer Zeit [Paracelsus: Doctor of Our Time] (1992). Variants:

  • "All drugs are poisons; the benefit depends on the dosage."
  • "All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy."
This is frequently (and misleadingly) paraphrased: "Everything is a drug; it depends on the dose."
Added on 9-Feb-21 | Last updated 9-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Paracelsus

Certainty has become a consumer product. It is marketed the world over — by insurance companies, investment advisers, election campaigns, and the medical industry.

Gerd Gigerenzer (b. 1947) German research psychologist
Reckoning with Risk (2003)
Added on 4-Jan-21 | Last updated 4-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Gigerenzer, Gerd

To array a man’s will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
Norwood; or, Village Life in New England, Vol. 1, ch. 6 (1867)
Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Beecher, Henry Ward

I know the colour rose, and it is lovely,
But not when it ripens in a tumour;
And healing greens, leaves and grass, so springlike,
In Limbs that fester are not springlike.

Daniel "Dannie" Abse (1923-2014) Welsh poet
“Pathology of Colours” (1968)
Added on 2-Sep-16 | Last updated 2-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Abse, Dannie

Ah, pierce me one hundred times with your needles fine
And I will thank you one hundred times, Saint Morphine,
You who Aesculapius has made a God.

[Ah! Perce-moi cent fois de ton aiguille fine
Et je te bénirai cent fois, Sainte Morphine,
Dont Esculape eût fait une divinité.]

Jules Verne (1828-1905) French novelist, poet, playwright
“To Morphine [A la morphine]” (1866)

A sonnet written while recovering from a leg injured in an attack by his nephew.

Alt. trans.: "Ah! Needle me a hundred times, and, yes, / A hundred times, Saint Morphine, I will bless / You, whom Asclepius would have deified." [Skinner (2011)]

(A number of sources give the name in the last line as "Aeseulapus," but this is almost certainly a mistyping of the Latin form of Asclepius that has been copied without consideration.)
Added on 17-Jun-16 | Last updated 17-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Verne, Jules

Are there no ideals more stirring than those of martial glory? Is this generation conscious of calls to the service of native land in ways no more worthy than the way of taking a musket and killing somebody? You ask, in the language of Prof. James, for a moral equivalent for war. A patriot needs only look about to find numberless causes that ought to warm the blood and stir the imagination. The dispelling of ignorance and the fostering of education, the investigation of disease and the searching out of remedies that will vanquish the giant ills that decimate the race, the inculcation of good feeling in the industrial world, the cause of the aged, the cause of the men and women who had so little chance — tell me, has war anything that beckons as these things beckon with alluring and compelling power? Whoso wants to share the heroism of battle let him join the fight against ignorance and disease — and the mad idea that war is necessary.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) American industrialist and philanthropist
“A Plea for Peace,” New York Times (7 Apr 1907)
Added on 8-Jan-16 | Last updated 8-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Carnegie, Andrew

See, I know you entertain some kind of eternal life fantasy because you’ve chosen not to smoke; let me be the first to pop that fucking bubble and send you hurtling back to reality — because you’re dead too. And you know what doctors say: “Shit, if only you’d smoked, we’d have the technology to help you. It’s you people dying from nothing who are screwed.” I got lots of stuff waiting for me: oxygen tent, iron lung, electronic voice box; it’s like going to Sharper Image when I die.

Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
Relentless (1992)
Added on 6-Mar-15 | Last updated 6-Mar-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by HIcks, Bill

The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines — so they should go as far as possible from home to build their first buildings.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) American architect, interior designer, writer, educator [b. Frank Lincoln Wright]
“Frank Lloyd Wright Talks of His Art,” New York Times Magazine (4 Oct 1953)
Added on 25-Sep-12 | Last updated 9-Jan-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Wright, Frank Lloyd

The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) English writer and churchman
Polite Conversation, Dialog 2 (1738)

Borrowed / popularized from William Bullein, Government of Health, folio 50 (1558): "The first was called doctor diet, the seconde doctor quiet, the thirde doctor merry-man." (1558)
Added on 14-May-10 | Last updated 5-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Swift, Jonathan

The least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable.

Paul Broca (1824-1880) French pathologist, neurosurgeon, anthropologist
“Quelques propositions sur les tumeurs dites cancéreuses” (16 Apr 1849)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Broca, Paul