UXL Encyclopedia of Diseases and Disorders (5 Volume Set)
Eugene “Bill” Wilson (1900–1981) was Dean of Admission at Amherst College. He was known for his sense of humor and his genuine interest in the welfare of each student. This quote attributed to him, published in Reader’s Digest in April of 1968, summarizes education to me, that is, it is learning itself that is most exciting, not the knowledge per se that one gathers from it. It is truly the lifelong ride of learning, not the final destination, that makes us what we are.
As both a college and medical student and now as a medical educator, I have personally seen numerous, and far too many, individuals whose goal is not learning for learning sake but rather come to me, my brilliant lecturer-wife Suzanne, or any other instructor with the unfortunately all-to-common request of “what do I have to know to pass the exam?”
Would you consult a physician who only knows what he needed to pass the test? Would you hire a tax preparer that could pass the qualifying exam but knew no more? Would you allow your child to drive an automobile with only the knowledge acquired in the Driver’s Education manual? The answer to all these questions should be a resounding no. Whether or not you are using this reference text because you are thinking about, or even planning, a career in a medical field, remember that books such as this one are limited in scope. That is, the information here should be a starting place for anyone who has the true desire to understand the topic. Each entry includes further references for some additional reading, and you are encouraged to follow up on the topic.
Additionally, remember that textbooks provide a snapshot of the information available at that time. The half-life of truth can be short because new information appears. Currency, that is, being current, is vital in understanding issues.
As the editor of this text, I wish each of its readers success in your future plans. “Earning a living,” so to speak, implies working to live. I hope that you will have the opportunity, as I do, to truly live to work. A career can more than a job, more than just a way of paying the bills. By living to work, the work is not really work in the true sense but rather it is what you do, it is part of your essence. As it is said, “Those who love their jobs do not work a day in their lives.” Remember life is all about the ride, not the destination. Those who feel that “he who dies with the most toys wins” have missed all the scenery. Keep your eyes wide open.
Larry I. Lutwick, editor
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