Friday, August 01, 2008


This is Barton Kamen, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and pharmacology, as well as chief of the division of pediatric hematology/oncology in Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

From a classic doctor’s black bag stashed beneath his desk at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), Barton Kamen, MD, PhD, pulls out a couple of magic tricks. Now you see the scarf. Now you don’t. Kamen incorporates these magician’s props into his life as a pediatric cancer specialist just as if they were real medical tools. Not in league with a chemotherapeutic agent, stethoscope or thermometer, of course, they are the “ice breakers,” he explains, which help to engage children’s senses and break down their defenses and fears.

...When asked what he might do when confronting the tears of a mother, he answers, “I’d cry with her. I can’t take care of kids and not be human. I don’t believe in keeping professional distance. I just don’t.” And therein lies the magic of Kamen’s best medicine. In fact, look up the definition of magic: “the use of means … that are believed to have supernatural powers to produce or prevent a particular result (as in … death or healing).” A magician is someone who is “able to produce startling and amazing effects.”

- Extracted from UMDNJ magazine "Magic + Medicine = Cancer cures"

Magic undoubtedly brings happiness. Looking at him holding the bicycle cards, I'm just wondering whether i'll be doing the same thing in future, pulling out cards and magic tricks from my bag (like now) and keep on entertaining the patients.

I guess I will. Magic and medicine are just inseparable in my life!=)

Related posts:
My Love with Cards
The Wonder of Magic


shinyin_jocelyn said...

you make me wanna learn some magic tricks....

Mei said...

OMG... i just stumbled upon ur blog from the Malaysian Medical Resources and started reading ur posts...

I exceptionally like this one~! I'm a softy, if you haven't realised. Sooo lucky that you can perform magic tricks! Maybe I should land myself on some trick books too! Do they work??

I just need to know a few, for the kids... hehehehe :D

Darren said...

Ya mei, i do magic!=)
I've been performing in IMU since my clinical years..that time you already went to Melbourne right..but i thought Mingyen can do a few tricks too? He didn't show you?=) We used to learn magic together..during the initial phase..

I think books are good resources if you really wanna learn magic. *but warn you 1st, it can be very boring to read! hehe* and it'll take a while to master the skill..

But after all, when you see ur audience are entertained, the feeling is priceless=)

p/s: Do let me know if you're really interested in learning. I can share some materials with you!;)

Albert Lee said...

This is truly inspiring..
As a premed student who are seriously into magic, I want to do something like this in the near future! Thanks for this article Darren!


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