Views & Reviews Between the Lines

A man of wit and clinical wisdom

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39610.608368.59 (Published 19 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1441
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    One does not turn to medical journals for the delights of literature, or for blinding shafts of insight conveyed by aphorism. No one expects a double-decker bus to perform like a Maserati: which is not, of course, to denigrate double-decker buses. They are good at what they do.

    The British endocrinologist and haematologist Richard Asher (1912-69), however, managed to combine wit and clinical wisdom with literary felicity. He it was who first thought of the adventures of Baron Munchausen in connection with that small group of patients who go from hospital to hospital with tales of dramatic symptomatology. I was pottering about my books the other day, as old men do, when I pulled …

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