Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Imaginary Invalid

The death of God has placed a lot of pressure on doctors. There is now a certain madness about medicine with doctors routinely being curated by New York Magazine the way colleges are rated every year by the U.S. News and World Report. It would be interesting to correlate over a period of say ten years how many of New York Magazine’s best doctors list attended the U.S. News and World Report’s best colleges. Naturally this trend has taken some time to manifest itself. Time published its famed Is God Dead? issue in l966. It would also be interesting to study the market to which these varying magazine issues are catering. For instance, are the same people who are interested in medicine also interested in food. If you can find someone who will provide the ultimate cure, is good eating not the next step in survival, preventative medicine as it were. And how many of these foodies routinely travel around the world to find the chefs who will provide the kind of food that is both tasty and healthy? Similarly, if we look at the audience for U.S. New and World Reports Best Colleges, are we not dealing with the question of survival? How many graduates of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth or elite smaller institutions like Amherst, Swarthmore or Williams had roommates who became doctors of the The New York Magazine Best Doctors variety and hence had an inside track on getting appointments which eventually extended their lives? How many of these elite graduates had roommates who became celebrity chefs whose delightful and healthy meals helped them to reduce calories and stress? Moliere wrote two plays Le Medecin malgre lui and Le malade imaginaire. Both would seem to apply to our current obsession with health.

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