In the sunset of graduate studies, I was living in an abyss of systems, no longer the fibrous nervous system or skeleton of that body, but of structuralism, post-structuralism, post-modernism, deconstruction, and Marxism, trying to pull them apart for some kind of diagnosis and prognosis (i.e. a passable thesis). My professors at this time taught me how to observe art, moving images, and all the texts that surround us as clues that index the underlying structures of our social, political, economic, and religious environments. They taught me to confront information from multiple perspectives and showed me how things change when you look at them from other angles. At this juncture, I was confronted with the long path of academia or a return to what initially set a fire under me.
The humanities taught me what my science classes didn’t: that no matter how hard we try we cannot obtain objectivity. This may be an unpopular opinion in the medical field but I find it to be instead a strength, if we are willing to use our subjectivity to find better practices and more creative solutions to all the problems that confront us as physicians—symptomatic or underlying. Of course, recognizing this and applying it may take more work than our current systems demand, but that is ultimately my goal—to work myself to death.