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Revalidating retired doctors

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 22 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:701
  1. Michael Vickers, professor emeritus
  1. University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff

    About two years ago, after the General Medical Council (GMC) had made it clear that it was going to press ahead with revalidation, its president, Sir Donald Irvine, visited Cardiff to sell the whole concept to the medical establishment and the National Assembly for Wales. I could not resist asking if he was going to stop me signing passport photographs. He thought for a moment and said that there might have to be a special section of the register for retired doctors which enumerated their remaining privileges. In which case, I said, would that include being able to prescribe a mild sedative to members of the family? This question was obviously too difficult for him; his only response was that I should not be doing it anyway.

    We just want to be able to prescribe a limited range of drugs to a limited range of people

    I do not know how many retired doctors there are. No one does. It must be well in excess of 10 000 considering how many retire early. Since Sir Donald's visit I, for one, …

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