This chapter turns to the medical profession. An ambitious young man of good family would not choose to become either a physician or a surgeon unless he felt some particular calling towards medicine. Many other young men would be put off by the long hours, by squeamishness or by pride. Yet medicine offered a fairly reliable living, amounting to comfortable affluence in many cases, and was exposed to fewer risks and hardships than some of the careers more favoured by young gentlemen. There was also the satisfaction of being able to do clear and immediate good to many, to relieve suffering, cure some complaints and help others, of being welcomed in times of emergency and trouble and thanked for bringing loved ones back from the brink of death, and of inspiring patients to follow in your footsteps.
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