The family image, the family tradition, was that my parents were poor immigrants into East London, and that they thought that education was vitally important. But they both left school at fourteen, and so I grew up with the idea that, but for the opportunity, my parents would have been educated. That they were giving me this opportunity, and by golly, I better take advantage of it.
I used to think that medicine and particularly surgery is just failed prevention. That if we could treat these people properly and, particularly, if we could do something about prevention, we could empty the hospital wards. It was probably false, but that's what I used to think.
I thought that health was a manifestation of the way we organize society, and that by asking about health in society, we're asking about society itself.
When people would come in with non-specific problems and we never quite got to the root of a medical diagnosis, it always seemed to me they were expressing problems in living, and that one needed to look at their problems in living, and how they manifested themselves in physical problems.