What are patients looking for when they visit the doctor?
This is a sceptical age, but although our faith in many of the things in which our forefathers fervently believed has weakened, our confidence in the curative properties of the bottle of medicine remains the same a theirs. This modern faith in medicines is proved the fact that the annual drug bill of the Health Services is mounting to astronomical figures and shows no signs at present of ceasing to rise. The majority of the patients attending the medical out-patients departments of our hospitals feel that they have not received adequate treatment unless they are able to carry home with them some tangible remedy in the shape of a bottle of medicine, a box of pills, or a small jar of ointment, and the doctor in charge of the department is only too ready to provide them with these requirements. There is no quicker method of disposing of patients then by giving them what they are asking for, and since most medical men in the Health Services are overworked and have little time for offering time-consuming and little-appreciated advice on such subjects as diet, right living, and the need for abandoning bad habits etc., the bottle, the box, and the jar are almost always granted them.
Nor is it only the ignorant and ill-educated person who was such faith in the bottle of medicine. It is recounted of Thomas Carlyle that when him in his pocket what remained of a bottle of medicine formerly prescribed for an indisposition of Mrs. Carlyle’s. Carlyle was entirely ignorant of what the bottle in his pocket contained, of the nature of the illness from which his friend was suffering, and of what had previously been wrong with his wife, but a medicine that had worked so well in one form of illness would surely be of equal benefit in another, and comforted by the thought of the help he was bringing to his friend, he hastened to Henry Taylor’s house. History does not relate whether his friend accepted his medical help, but in all probability he did. The great advantage of taking medicine is that it makes no demands on the taker beyond that of putting up for a moment with a disgusting taste, and that is what all patients demand of their doctors — to be cured at no inconvenience to themselves.
New words and expressions 生词和短语
并不只是那些无知和没受过良好教育的人才迷信药瓶子。据说托马斯.卡莱尔有过这么一件事：他听说朋友亨利.泰勒病了，就立刻跑去看他，衣袋里装上了他妻子不舒服时吃剩下的一瓶药。卡莱尔不知道药瓶子里装的是什么药，不知道他的朋友得的是什么病，也不知道妻子以前得的是什么病，只知道一种药对一种病有好处，肯定对另一种病也会有好处。想到能对朋友有所帮助，他感到很欣慰，于是急急忙忙来到了亨利.泰勒的家里，他的朋友是否接受了他的药物治疗，历史没有记载，但很可能接受了。服药的最大优点是：除了暂时忍受一下令人作呕的味道外，对服药人别无其他要求。这也正是病人对医生的要求 — 病要治好，但不要太麻烦。