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Encountering Particulars: A Life in Medicine

Anna Luise Kirkengen, MD, PhD

Summer 2005 - Volume 9 Number 3

For 30 years, I have hoped that someone would ask me, a general practitioner, the following question: "In your opinion, what is the most important source of your ongoing professional satisfaction and your best professional contributions to your field of work, human medicine?" My main and inexhaustible source of professional inspiration is in my everyday encounters with patients who, as individuals, present the "particulars" of his/her lived life. Each embodies these particulars quite differently, and each generously enables me to become ever more knowledgeable about what it means to live a life. The fascination of encountering such particulars is what, in my eyes, makes medicine in general worth practicing, and general practice in particular a privileged task.

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