We expect the world of doctors. Out of our own need, we revere them; we imagine that their training and expertise and saintly dedication have purged them all of the uncertainty, trepidation, and disgust that we would feel in their position, seeing what they see and being asked to cure it. Blood and vomit and pus do not revolt them; senility and dementia have no terrors; it does not alarm them to plunge into the slippery tangle of internal organs, or to handle the infected and contagious. For them, the flesh and its diseases have been abstracted, rendered coolly diagrammatic and quickly subject to infallible diagnosis and effective treatment.
- John Updike
From the Introduction to The House of God