Personal Views

The caring profession

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 04 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:80
  1. Andrew Gregan
  1. Andrew Gregan lives in Oxford

    I cannot remember exactly why I wanted to become a doctor but whatever your reason the end result is the same, to discharge a duty of care towards the patient to the best of your ability. Every doctor also has a responsibility to his fellow professionals not to bring the profession into disrepute. Doctors' duties towards their patients and responsibilities to the profession are clear and accepted but what of the profession's duties and responsibilities towards doctors?

    From the moment that I walked through the medical school gates I was engulfed by the medical world with student BMA membership and Medical Defence Union sponsored tee shirts. Once I qualified the parochial nature of the profession became even more evident. Closeted from the rest of society by the jargon of health care, safe in the knowledge that I had a job for life and financial security with a respected position in society, it became hard and unnecessary to imagine a life outside medicine. I had merged gratefully and seamlessly with the thousands of other junior doctors eating, drinking, and …

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