Soundings

Second opinion please

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7058.694 (Published 14 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:694
  1. Colin Douglas

    Many years ago as a junior doctor I watched a surgeon in trouble. A procedure in the neck turned into a deep, dark hole spilling blood. No one panicked, but since the operation threatened to become a thoracic one a second opinion was sought from a senior thoracic surgeon.

    As it happened I had never encountered this luminary, but he was much admired and mimicked among the irreverent young—“Don't apologise, dear boy. My fault entirely. I employed you”—and therefore instantly recognisable when he arrived—indeed far more stylish than the best of his many imitators. He swept in and took charge. The crisis passed. The patient lived.

    A few …

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