Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Observations from on high

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 08 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1073
  1. Colin Douglas, doctor and novelist, Edinburgh

    A new book of medical musings on topics ranging from basic science to cheese willhelp clever doctors pass the time, Colin Douglas finds

    This collection of medical musings comes with a veiled warning in its foreword: the pieces first appeared as columns in the Quarterly Journal of Medicine. Not in the BMJ or the Lancet, and definitely not in any of the cheery throwaways whose columnists are the medical equivalents of Private Eye’s immortal Phil Space and Polly Filler. No, they first appeared in the QJM; and the QJM, we are reminded in the foreword, has a core readership of fairly senior and fairly academic physicians. So, the usual stuff of the lesser sort of column—the week’s odd case; the easy dig at management; the facile reflection along the lines of “aren’t our patients sometimes dim”—simply will not do. Fairly senior and fairly academic physicians have their standards, which we must assume are fairly high.

    I hope these 50 pieces lived up to them. They certainly show evidence of …

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