Soundings Soundings

Death in the parlour

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7296.1255/a (Published 19 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1255
  1. Kevin Barraclough, general practitioner
  1. Painswick, Gloucestershire

    One of the unavoidable features of rural general practice is the proximity of suffering. At times it seems as though a miasma of pain and premature death hangs in little pockets around the valley, affecting patients, neighbours, and friends. As one stays longer in practice, the picturesque villages become shrouded with recollections not apparent to the casual visitor.

    As a trainee I was told that this was a privilege, a claim I viewed then, and now, with some ambivalence. There …

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