Views & Reviews Review

Prostate pain: a long, long story

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4213 (Published 04 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4213
  1. Christopher Martyn, associate editor, BMJ
  1. cmartyn{at}bmj.com

    One man’s story of his illness underlines the gap that often exists between doctors’ and patients’ understanding, finds Christopher Martyn

    Back in the 1970s, before student railcards had been invented, it was OK, if you were a bloke, to stand at the roadside and thumb a lift. Being poor at the time, I did it quite a lot. The discomfort and unreliability were offset by the idea that this was a countercultural, romantic way to travel. Even when cold and wet you could kid yourself that you were following in Jack Kerouac’s footsteps. The most exciting rides were in big articulated lorries for their lofty view of the landscape and the casual aplomb with which the drivers controlled their huge loads. The dullest were from lonely old codgers who picked you up because they wanted someone to talk to. Until I learnt to say “biology” when asked what I was studying, admitting that I was a medical student usually provoked the telling of a long story featuring baffled doctors, an operation in the nick of time, and the largest gallstone (or hernia or aneurysm) that the surgeon had ever …

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