December 23, 2002

Bill Frist: 'A Little Crazy'

An article in The Boston Globe quotes from Bill Frist's own book about himself, and it is scary.

The book, now out of print, is called Transplant: A Heart Surgeon's Account of the Life-and-Death Dramas of the New Medicine. If this is what the guy makes public about himself, it's frightening to think of what he keeps secret.

According to his own descriptions, the pressure of Harvard Medical School turned him into something of a demon. "somewhere in the middle of it all, exhausted by years of no sleep and high anxiety, doubting every opinion I ever held, questioning every notion about myself that ever kept me going, I realized that instead of molding doctors, medical school was in the business of stripping human beings of everything but the raw, almost insane, ambition you must have simply to get through."

According to Frist's book, he had to kill animals for medical research as part of this training to be a doctor. But, says the Globe, "his new dilemma was finding enough animals to kill. Soon, he began lying to obtain more animals. He went to the animal shelters around Boston and promised he would care for the cats as pets. Then he killed them during experiments."

"It was a heinous and dishonest thing to do," Frist wrote. "I was going a little crazy."

One hopes he has gotten a little saner, but judging by the company he keeps, it's unlikely.

For more on the Frist biography, see The New York Times. Read on to the second page, where you see how he used racist code language to get elected to the Senate. More interesting material on this enigmatic heart and lung transplant expert turned Washington power player can be found at The Orange County [California] Register

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