Famous Phrases of Michael Balint

“The drug ‘doctor’”    (The doctor herself/himself is the most frequently prescribed medication)

“The collusion of anonymity”    (Patients may bounce from one specialist to another with nobody taking responsibility for the patient as a person)
“The courage of one’s stupidity”    (Go on,  say it, you may be absolutely right and if you are not, we will probably still talk to you)
“The mutual investment fund”    (All the shared experience and trust that doctor and patient accumulate over many years in general practice)
“The doctor’s apostolic function”    (The doctor’s tendency to have unrealistic expectations of the patient based on the doctor’s own values. e.g. ‘You should give up alcohol. I never touch it.’)


Less well known sayings of Michael Balint:

“Sometimes your patients have to hit you over the head before you take any notice of them.”

“I have heard quite enough from you for today, doctor.”   (No-one’s perfect)

“It sounds to me like an ordinary case of fucker’s back.”  (Context obscure but authentic and too good to leave out)

“To benefit from a group you need at least two years of treatment  –  I mean training.”

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