In the past, the connection between medicine and literature was spontaneous or natural, arising from the general education that all doctors had received, combined with their experience of human existence, an experience that was necessarily wider, deeper, and more varied than that of most people. Doctors are privy, after all, to their patients’ deepest secrets, but at the same time retain an attitude of objectivity. No situation could be more propitious for a writer.
But if no one is broadly educated or cultivated, that is the end of broad education and cultivation itself. We will be reduced to a society of technocrats, each absorbed in their own narrow specialism. Notwithstanding the horrible example of Hans Frank, this is not a state of society to which I look forward. Apart from anything else, some among us will be specialists in the exercise of power, against whom the rest of us will be defenceless.