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  • Introduction - General - Reflection


Chapters

Medicine is far from static. The work facing clinicians in the tropics mainly consists of cosmopolitan problems. The classic tropical diseases will probably become less important, while obesity, hypertension, heart disease are increasing in low-resource settings and a massive diabetes epidemic is unfolding. A tsunami of new data threatens to overwhelm scientists, although creative use of networked silicon chips helps.
In medicine, we would like not only to form highly qualified professionals, but also balanced caring people with a gentle touch and a spark in their eyes. The illustrations and case studies discussed during the actual teaching course will help to identify the important points. Sometimes, after all the studying, it is nice to let your mind drift and reflect on the big picture and dream your dream(s).  The following has nothing to do with tropical medicine, but I would like to include here one of my favorite poems, just because I think it is beautiful. It was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927.

"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember
what peace there may be in silence.

s far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle to yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars and you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata", 1927.

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