Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Of acupuncture, art, and testicles

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 09 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1620
  1. Sanjay Pai, consultant pathologist and head, Pathology and Laboratory medicine, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Bangalore, India
  1. sanjayapai{at}

    A collection of essays by the American surgeon and writer Sherwin Nuland entertains Sanjay Pai hugely

    Sherwin Nuland wears many hats—surgeon, historian, writer, and medical philosopher (see BMJ 2008;337:a922, doi:10.1136/bmj.a922). For many years he has combined these many interests with writing prize winning books and columns in various magazines. The Uncertain Art is based almost entirely on selected essays from The American Scholar, a journal to which Nuland was a contributing editor. The essays are on a wide variety of topics, with medicine being central to the theme. The title, of course, refers to the fact that medicine is an art as much as a science, as so many others have noted, from the Hippocratic corpus (“Life is short, and the art is long . . . experience fallacious, and judgement difficult”) to William Osler (“Who can tell of the uncertainties of medicine as an art”).

    The subtitle is appropriate, and the range of topics wide—these …

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