Fillers

Of middle years and white coats

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7368.821 (Published 12 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:821
  1. Vengudi S Sankar, consultant paediatrician
  1. Fairfield General Hospital, Bury, Greater Manchester

    You're told it's important to go for a “medical” when you turn 40. I'm not sure how many do. I guess the reluctance to go is really because you don't want to accept the arrival of your “middle years.” You feel well; you certainly don't feel middle aged (even though your son is getting taller than your shoulders, and recently you've wondered if you need glasses for reading small print and doing procedures like siting an umbilical catheter).

    I think what got me moving was the reminder from occupational health that my levels of hepatitis B antibodies needed checking, and I thought, “Why not throw in a few ‘routine' tests?” I was relieved to find none of the numbers was bad except for a highish cholesterol concentration. Then I wondered about the vague, frequent headaches that I seemed to have; I …

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