Honour a physician with the honour due unto himBMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7337.607 (Published 09 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:607
- Derek Summerfield, consultant psychiatrist
- CASCAID, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London
A few years ago my general practitioner told me that anyone aged over 40 with upper abdominal discomfort needed investigating. At the local teaching hospital, a pleasant young doctor did a gastroscopy, which showed a mass in my stomach wall. I was sent for a barium meal. A consultant radiologist took the x ray films, instructing me briskly to turn this way and that but not otherwise paying me any attention. He told me to wait a few minutes while he checked the films to see if all the views were satisfactory. I sat alone in the room for about five minutes.
From the moment the consultant re-entered I could see that he was slightly agitated. “I'm terribly sorry,” he called out as he came through the door at the far end. And …