The Doctor’s Dilemma Resolved

I am a physician and a socialist. I always wanted to be a doctor, probably because my brother Ron was born with severe hemophilia for which there was no treatment at the time. To my young mind, doctors had the power to stop suffering, and I wanted that power. 

I had the good fortune to be born at the right time. During the 1960s, the Canadian government subsidized children from the working class to go to university. My second stroke of luck was getting into medical school.

I soon discovered how powerless doctors really are. Most of my patients’ problems were rooted in social conditions that were outside my control. The best I could do was manage their symptoms.

Medicine radicalized me. I was a socialist because I came from a family of socialists. But I didn’t really understand capitalism. Like most people, I thought it was an economic system. —Susan Rosenthal.