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Conversations, observations, and exclamation

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 14 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:117
  1. Gerald Levy (, former university lecturer
  1. Chester

    About three and a half years ago, I started to feel unwell. The following day—a Sunday—I took myself off to see the emergency GP. She suggested, rather forcibly, that I should go straight to hospital. From this point I have developed an interesting relationship with some of the doctors I have seen. The majority of the two dozen or so doctors have been professional, supportive, and amicable. My GPs have, without fail, been exemplary.

    There have, however, been conversations with other doctors that provide alarming insights into the self perception of some members of the medical profession. As an ethnographer (a sort of psychologist) I relate some of the conversations.

    The duty consultant (after a very brief examination) on being first referred as an emergency: “Young man, I can find no evidence whatsoever of what you are saying is so. I don't know why you were sent here. Go home.”

    As you have probably guessed, you have multiple sclerosis

    Two days later my GP came to see me—I was now …

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