Views & Reviews From The Frontline

Explaining the unexplainable

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 16 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1039
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

As a white coated hospital doctor I had nursing support, blood test results, and radiology results for all patients. But when I started in general practice there were no nurses, no bloods, and no radiographs. Just me in a demob suit, a broken thermometer, and a stethoscope prop. I struggled to cope with 10 minute appointments as the list of possible differentials scrolled in my mind. I saw potential pathology in every consultation because everything was vague—neurology, chest pains, headaches, aches and pains, dizziness, bladder symptoms, and fatigue. The history never hung together and …

View Full Text

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Free trial

Register for a free trial to to receive unlimited access to all content on for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial