Views & Reviews Between the Lines

In small town America

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2400 (Published 05 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2400
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    There are two doctors in Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson’s book about a fictional small town in middle America. It is an episodic novel of loosely connected stories in which Anderson depicts the lives of ordinary people for whom the American dream has not come true, partly because of circumstances and partly because of human nature—we are not made for permanent, or even for very prolonged, happiness.

    The two doctors, it must be admitted, are not the finest flower of our great profession. Neither has many patients or seems to go in much for diagnosis, let alone treatment. Indeed, Dr Parcival’s qualification as a doctor seems to be in …

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