Statue of Saints Cosmas (l) and Damian (r) with Christ (c) on the Charles Bridge
Prague, Czech Republic, 1709
The Patron Saints of Physicians
I just returned from a river cruise that ended in Prague. We were taken to the famous Charles Bridge and during a brief stop, I found I was standing beneath a statue that speaks to the basis of healing across the centuries. I almost missed it given all the beautiful architecture on a bright and sunny day in Prague.
What was impressive to me are the continued challenges to healing given the difficult history of the region. We had the opportunity to hear from a volunteer who aided refugees in Hungary. We visited a school for the Roma people. There have been and are real challenges to the people of this region.
The modern story of the search for healing also came unexpectedly from our guide, Peter Nagy who wrote, The Way Out. It is ten short stories that address the modern dilemmas and meaning of life. It was a wonderful way to hear the challenges from a young searcher. It was a wonderful way to connect the dots of the past and present.
Hurst J. A modern Cosmas and Damian: Sir Roy Calne and Thomas Starzl receive the 2012 Lasker~Debakey Award. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 122(10):3378-82, 2012 Oct.