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Voltaire's Candide, medical students, and mentoring

Author(s): Papadimos Thomas

Journal: Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine
ISSN 1747-5341

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract In Voltaire's work, Candide, a young, naïve man, who has been taught that humans live in the best of all possible worlds, is thrust into the world only to find that this may not be so. He learns over time to balance his optimism with the skepticism he acquires through experience. While today's medical students are not naïve like the character Candide, they, nonetheless, carry an impression of the ideal medical practice, along with the expectation of a successful medical practice. Good mentors and role models are important to students in order to temper their optimism, control their skepticism, and to help them to be realistic, not only about their expectations of medical practice, but what society expects of them.
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