Views & Reviews The Bigger Picture

The errors in our ways

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 07 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:332
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}

    Once, I prepared a comprehensive brief for the World Health Organization executive board recommending that it commission a chain of whorehouses across the war zone of what was then Yugoslavia. Thank heavens for a regional director with an eye for detail and a sense of humour: “Surely you mean warehouses, Dr Black?” More recently I examined a thesis for membership of the Faculty of Pubic Health Medicine. The candidate was pinkly embarrassed. I was kindly and magnanimous; we have all hit the wrong spellcheck button in our day, and …

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