At the age of 99, Dr. DeBakey, the venerable heart surgeon from Houston who pioneered
several procedures that have been life saving for heart patients, reflects on what he has
I've outlined the article but, for the full text from MSN by Cal Fussman, go to the link below.
One of the rarest things that we do is think.
There are questions that I'd like answered.
If world leaders were doctors, I think they would be more concerned with the welfare of people.
In any good society, every member should be interested in the health of every other member.
What advice would I give a doctor preparing for surgery? ....walk into the right operating room.
I've done more than sixty thousand heart operations.... I've been fortunate in that I need
very little sleep.
Okra is the key to good gumbo.
I'm not sure I can answer that question specifically. But ...lots of doctors took the position
that you shouldn't try it. You've got to push ahead in spite of them. I learned that lesson early.
I don't think the difference between ninety-nine and a hundred is important.
I scheduled my last operation when I was ninety.
If you had a heart problem right now and needed an operation and I was the only doctor
around, sure, I'd do it.
The best lesson my mother taught me involves an orphanage we had in town. One Sunday...
she had put one of my favorite caps inside. I immediately protested...She told me I ought
to be glad that I could give up the cap. I never forgot that.
Being compassionate, being concerned for your fellow man, doing everything you can
to help people—that's the kind of religion I have, and it's a comforting religion.
You can never learn enough.
It's important for a patient to go into an operation with confidence.
The worst thing, of course is when the patient dies during the operation. You die a little
every time that happens.
There was a historian in the fourteenth century who wrote a book...the tribes that have
difficulty feeding themselves are lean and healthy, and those that have plenty of food are
fat, lazy, and unhealthy.
People often use words in a loose way that covers over what they're talking about.
The doctor who operated on me only a few years ago was one that I trained.
Never had a symptom. The pain came like a bullet out of the blue.
Part of me was doing a diagnosis on myself—which, as it turned out, was correct. Aortic dissection.
I was a little surprised to find myself recovering after the surgery.
During my recovery, I played possum. Then I'd argue with them about the therapy.
I guess it's hard to be my doctor.
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