An initiation: Unequal encounter

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 21 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:920
  1. Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe, cardiovascular epidemiologist
  1. Dundee

    Just down from Cambridge in October 1961, I was bottom of the clinical hierarchy at Guy's Hospital. Put straight on a surgical ward as ward clerk I was responsible for clerking admissions and was junior to the senior dressers, some of whom lorded it over us. I had been shaken on my first day, holding open a door for two pinstriped gentlemen, to have them sweep past as if I was invisible.

    Woe betide the ward clerk who did not know his patients. Two weeks after starting, the student gauleiter allocated me a young Bermondsey woman with a renal cyst. The senior registrar said that I was to present her case next Saturday morning to a distinguished visitor, Sir Clement Price-Thomas, who had operated on King George VI and who had …

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