More on doctors and pilots

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7368.839/a (Published 12 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:839

Monitoring by Big Brother may not be a Bad Thing

  1. Peter A West, director (paw11@york.ac.uk)
  1. York Health Economics Consortium, University of York, York YO10 5NH
  2. Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Republic of Ireland

    EDITOR—I endorse the concerns of Macdonald about the work of his doctor son compared with that of his pilot son.1 But aside from the reasons given for their very different conditions, I believe that history plays a part.

    Air flight is a modern trade, born into a modern age with sophisticated citizens and a strong legislative framework, even at the start and more so today. Doctors share this environment now, but medicine developed as a profession with unsophisticated citizens, a much weaker framework of government and legislation, and much greater emphasis on self employment.

    I believe that this has contributed to a culture in medicine that resists the kinds of monitoring that airline pilots take …

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