February 7, 2013
Essay #1: Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
William Osler once said “Medicine is the science of uncertainty and the art of probability.” While this quote was said nearly one-hundred years ago, it still holds the same weight as is once did. In Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam, this quote is shown to not only be true in regards to medicine, but also for people as a whole; even so there are many factors that contribute to a person’s personality early on that can be traced to decisions and personality traits later in their lives. One of these factors is the amount of interaction and influence a person’s family has with them. In Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, there are two extreme examples that can be examined: Ming and Fitzpatrick. In both cases, there are positive and negative effects of their varied familial influence.
Ming’s family was always expectant of her. Being first generation American-Chinese, Ming’s family was looking for a way to become a greater part of American society. As soon as Ming’s cousin Karl became accepted into medical school, they expected the same of Ming; seeing medical school, to a degree, as a fast-track to the top of American society. Because of her parents strictness, Ming was forced to lie about her relationship with Fitzgerald to her parents, and was never really given a chance to develop interests and follow them. On top of the pressures from her family to get into medical school, she also had her relationship with Karl; this was a different type of family involvement. Karl’s molestation of Ming had many effects on her. The first way he affected her was in the way she thought. Ming hated Karl for what he did to her, but she hated herself more for allowing it to happen. Because she hated herself so much, she subconsciously became as similar to Karl as possible. Instead of using both sides of her brain equally, Ming concentrated fully on the left side, the calculating...