Soundings Soundings

Problem kids

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7133.785 (Published 07 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:785
  1. Colin Douglas, doctor and novelist
  1. Edinburgh

    First year medical students used to be seen and not heard. They were certainly not encouraged to think. Their intellectual status, if any, was perhaps comparable to that of a caterpillar: they were expected simply to ingest vast volumes of semidigestible preclinical science as quickly as possible, to prepare for a later existence when they would sprout clinical wings and suddenly learn to fly.

    As a long retired caterpillar and perhaps a somewhat ill prepared butterfly I'm not so sure if it was all worthwhile. And since everything has changed, it doesn't matter any more. But what is interesting about …

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