Views & Reviews From the Frontline

The rubber ear

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a193 (Published 29 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1252
  1. Des Spence, GP, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

    The male lead singers of US rock bands of the 1980s—with their frizzy, long blond hair and pink make-up—were the prettiest girls on television. Their screaming guitar solos and the wailing backing vocals were a rock abomination, although the greatest danger lay in listening to their lyrics. Listening, however, is the doctor’s mantra. I have spent the past decade teaching undergraduates how to listen. I have suffered the tantrums of medical school actors who clearly resented the bit part of …

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