Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Blow your own trumpet

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2409 (Published 23 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2409
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Modesty was once considered a virtue, but nowadays it is clearly an impediment to a successful career. We prefer—or perhaps I should say we demand—boastfulness. To judge by job applications, the world is now stuffed full of paragons whose moral commitment to the welfare of humankind is equalled only by the brilliance of their contributions to medical science.

    It therefore seems to me that all medical students and young doctors should take a leaf out of Dr Williams’s pamphlet, published in Shrewsbury in 1841, entitled “An Account of Numerous Cases of Extraordinary Cures Effected by Dr Williams.”

    The introduction begins: “Dr Williams begs leave to acquaint the …

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