Views & Reviews The Best Medicine

The sentinel

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 16 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7328
  1. Liam Farrell, general practitioner, Crossmaglen, County Armagh
  1. drfarrell{at}

We are the thin red line; we are a pudgy, middle class Horatius at the bridge. The hordes are out there, just outside the surgery door. Because freedom isn’t free; the price is eternal vigilance, yet, demeaningly, we are called “gatekeepers” by those we protect, as if we are standing at a booth handing out tickets.

“I’ve an awful cough and an awful sore throat,” he said, “and I’ve been fighting it all …

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