There lies a great difference between text book medicine and the world of practising physician. Text book medicine is purely a science whereas treating a patient is an art. The world of practising physician requires a different set of skills and knowledge. Text book medicine no doubt provides the conceptual framework for treatment but no doctor can treat a patient without the use of his or her intuitive practices. In the story ‘Birth’, the way Andrew brings back life in the still born child is a testimony to this fact. The nurse at first dumps the child thinking it to be dead. But Andrew takes a chance and the miracle happens. He, in the beginning, applies his text book knowledge but the child does not recover. He does not lose heart. He applies his own intuitive method and the miracle then happened. Treatment is science and beyond. It is both a science and an art. The story ‘Birth’ is a realistic fiction. In other words, the elements of the story have been taken from real life experiences and woven in the fabric of fiction.
Text book medicine may give a physician information regarding the symptoms of an ailment and the treatment to be administered to the patient but he cannot rely on it. While practicing he has to bring in several innovations keeping in view the complexity of the case. We observe that Andrew rightly diagnosed from the symptoms that the child was suffering from Asphyxia Pallida. It was a case of suffocation or unconsciousness caused by lack of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in the blood, accompanied by paleness of the skin, weak pulse, and loss of reflexes. He knew treatment also and gave it to the child, but the child did not respond. Then, he used an innovation and the child recovered. A practicing physician has to use his mind along with his knowledge of text book medicines.