Nature of Discovery


by Richards P. Lyon MD, Clinical Professor of Urology, UCSF

I have struggled for several months trying to discover guidelines that have seemed to direct my life as a physician. It has been satisfying to a degree that I believe to be rare. This becomes increasingly clear as the members of my medical generation look back with the recognition that they too have had satisfactions and accomplishments seeming to be increasingly difficult in the modern day of regulations, restrictions and oversights. Yet, my medical life still retains a degree of uniqueness, the province of just a few. For it is one of joy in bringing health to so many. Yet my greatest joy has been to encourage others to realize their full potentials not only in positive works but in attitudes that allow a degree of satisfaction that encourages a continuing process. So, let’s go.

DISCOVERY is within reach of any inquiring mind, limited only by the variety of talents and experiences making up the mix. Thus it is that each of us is unique to the degree that insights are limited only by curiosity and the openness of our vision as we identify opportunities, recognize problems, and then logically attend to solutions. Thus it is that the tinkerer, physician, engineer, surgeon, photographer, at a certain time in his professional life, senses a serious need, often overlooked by others others or just simply accepted by all, as heidentifies a Solution and does something about it. The result, now obvious to me for the first time, becomes a Discovery and the enabler the Discoverer. So, one asks as to why it took so long for this obvious answer to surface. Couldn’t someone have seen the need long before and satisfied it? In this instance it turns out that the photographer’s experience and knowledge was able first to identify that something was not working correctly. It then required the tinkerer’s curiosity combined with the engineer’s discipline to design the solution. And next, it demanded the physician’s concern for his fellow man’s well being. Finally,it was the surgeon’s desire to be definitive and achieve a long term cure that was the driver to make the solution effective.

Each of us is so unique that our Discovery is likely to be just as unique, and would not necessarily ever occur even though its value is so obvious to all.

So, if uniqueness is always there and it combines qualities that the open mind takes full advantage of, DISCOVERY loses its mystic aura and is within reach of everyone.

Next page: Gifts from Inheritance

Gifts from Inheritance
Gifts from Inheritance, page 2
Gifts from Inheritance, page 3
The Open Mind
The Transition..? Metamorphosis.
The Process of Getting There
1947....Discovery #1....A Beginning
Discovery #2 (1947): Thrombophlebitis and Pulmonary Embolism Prevention