In praise of half doing a job

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 09 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1365
  1. Jill Graham (, general practitioner
  1. London

    To many of us, “half doing” something is quite unthinkable. We are programmed by our upbringing and medical training to believe that if a job's worth doing it must be done properly. In the real world, however, life's not quite like that. In general practice we often have to cut corners because we simply don't have time to do a full examination on every patient.

    To diverge slightly, I was once told that many people with messy desks are actually very tidy. This apparent paradox arises from the fact that they prefer to live with the mess if they haven't time to do a thorough job tidying up. They …

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