Soundings

The happiest man in the picture

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7029.515 (Published 24 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:515
  1. Colin Douglas

    The hospital conference room once served a quite different purpose—as dining room of the medical residency. Twenty five years ago, when the arcane traditions of the teaching hospital medical mess were already fading, it was the focus of a cosy, seedy clubdom almost unimaginable today.

    Back then there was a butler and a small disorganised bar. There were mess dinners, drunkenly formal. And within the hospital that dining room was a place apart, where only residents might breakfast, lunch, or dine. True, there were cockroaches in the pantry and the late meals left in its little oven were regularly overrun by them. But it was our …

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