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Doctors as Nietzschean supermen? Author’s reply
  1. T J Papadimos
  1. T J Papadimos, Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, University of Toledo, 3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43614, USA; thomas.papadimos{at}

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I would like to thank Colin Parker for the thorough, learned and enthusiastic criticism of my paper.1 Parker states that physicians are not Nietzschean supermen. I agree. Further, he states that my “imaginative exercise” produces “oddity”.2 Again, I agree. Where Parker is mistaken is in assuming this oddity to be the unintended consequence of what he judges to be my misinterpretation of Nietzche’s work. This oddity is instead an intentional and anticipated consequence of my analysis.

In the training of medical students and residents in the USA, there is a substantial and disagreeable deficiency (in my view) in the study and appreciation of what the humanities have to offer. My intention was to demonstrate to my students and colleagues that in the mind of a great philosopher (Nietzsche, for example) one may possibly find answers, or assistance, or explanations regarding what ails a person, a society or an organisation (or a curriculum). My interpretation was intended to be an exercise in the expansion of the appreciation for the humanities in the training of physicians by attempting to find an explanation of today’s problems through yesterday’s philosophical works. While “imaginative” and “odd”, this paper contributed to its intended effect of generating a movement …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Dr Papadimos also works in the Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, 1500 E Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.