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I'm not sure how much of the problem belongs to the egos of physicians, but my late brother was a research physician and had a gigantic ego, something that made him difficult to live with. But he did have patients (especially with things like hyper and hypo thyroidism who thought he was the greatest). A humorous story is that after dinner in a restaurant with his family as they walked to the car, he went up to a man in the parking lot and told him that he was ill and should see a doctor. I must say that he had an encyclopedic knowledge of medicine that was widely respected in the medical profession. He was forever telling me that I had 3 (of maybe 5) symptoms of some dread disease or other. I learned not to talk to him about my personal health.

His wife (my sister-in-law) was also a physician (anasthesiologist), but though she knew she was good, she was more restrained and easy to be with. It got to be, however, that she felt she was not earning enough to put up with all the fuss that occurs in her profession and retired at 62 (and never looked back). Her malpractive insurance, for example, was over $50 thousand per year.

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