Views & Reviews The Best Medicine

Want a friend? Get a dog

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 03 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4862
  1. Liam Farrell, general practitioner, Crossmaglen, County Armagh
  1. drfarrell{at}

“I have a list,” he said. As inflammatory opening gambits go, it’s hard to beat.

Osler advised equanimity as the second most important medical virtue, next to sarcasm. So over many years I have cultivated a tranquil demeanour, which the casual observer might misinterpret as apathy. I sat back in my chair, closed my eyes, counted to ten, let peace come dropping slow upon linnet’s wings; a mote of dust floated down. Accordingly, my response …

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