11 Apr 2013


Last Friday, LH helped us at the clinic as a volunteer. LH is three years more senior than me and was amongst the first in our team to join the private market. That is to say something. For a long time the first generation trainees never imagined life outside the team.

As LH described the life of a private gastroenterologist, I could not help thinking of a little story from Life of Pi.

‘We had a mouse that lived for several weeks with the vipers. While other mice dropped in the terrarium disappeared within two days, this little brown Methuselah built itself a nest, stored the grains we gave it in various hideaways and scampered about in plain sight of the snakes. We were amazed. We put up a sign to bring the mouse to the public’s attention. It finally met its end in a curious way: a young viper bit it. Was the viper unaware of the mouse’s special status? Unsocialized to it, perhaps? Whatever the case, the mouse was bitten by a young viper but devoured – and immediately – by an adult. If there was a spell, it was broken by the young one.’

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