Reviews PERSONAL VIEW

Caught on the wrong foot

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7420.937 (Published 16 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:937
  1. T E Ormerod, retired general practitioner
  1. Kettering, Northamptonshire

    After I qualified in 1947 and had done my two house jobs I was called for national service, being previously deferred while at medical school. I was posted to Bovington Camp in Dorset, and so started two years of medical stagnation. After the hectic year in hospital it was a great comedown to be treating minor ailments of fit young men, half of them anxious to avoid guard duties.

    Each month the War Office sent us a questionnaire asking about the numbers of infectious diseases and deaths, the condition of the swimming pool, morale, and so on. The last question asked about research, and every month we answered “None.”

    The plates were covered and overflowing with fungus growths of all shades and shapes

    One of our main duties was to examine soldiers returning from the Far East and certify them fit before they were demobbed. Most were indeed fit, except that they all had athlete's foot. One week we were sent an advertisement for Asterol cream that claimed a revolution in the treatment of …

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