Lapses of Physicians from the Yellow Emperorís Classic
HUANG Di received
Lei Gong in the Great Hall and asked, "You have studied all the important
medical classics and you have had much experience in medical practice. Tell me
about your successes and failures and the reasons behind them."
Gong answered, "I have practiced by following the principles of the
classics and performed techniques taught by my teachers, but clinically my
results are still far from satisfactory. Why is this?"
Di replied, "It is because you are young and
inexperienced. It is also because you have allowed some anecdotes you have
heard to confuse your analytical perception. When a physician is unable to
attain consistent cures it is often because of a lack of focus in the
evaluation and analysis of the patient's outwardly manifested symptoms and
signs and inwardly generated pathology. Therefore, he or she hesitates and
lack of understanding in the transmutation of yin and yang in diagnosis is the first
blunder of a physician.
medicine without proficiency in knowledge and skills, thereby causing injury to
patients, is the second blunder of a physician.
in the investigation into the etiology of an illness by neglecting to take into
consideration the patient's social and material circumstances, immediate
environment, dietary habits, emotional tendencies, and possible toxic
contaminations constitutes the third blunder of a physician.
boastful of lucky cures, falsely exaggerating the nature of an illness, haste
and carelessness in one's action, and disparagement of the reputation of the
teacher are the traits that comprise the fourth blunder of a physician."
Di fumed to Lei Gong and reflectively remarked,
"Alas! The way of healing is so profound. It is deep as the oceans and
boundless as the skies. How many truly know it?"
From Yellow Emperor's Classics p294, Chapter