Views & Reviews From the Frontline

That joke isn’t funny any more

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3762 (Published 29 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3762
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

I worked in Australia in the early 1990s, a time of economic downturn and uncertainty in the United Kingdom. Many doctors left with a view to possible emigration to Australia. The large expat contingent of Scots, Irish, Welsh, and English junior doctors roamed and chatted in the hospital corridors at 3 am, chasing the overtime. We shared much with the Aussie doctors: binge drinking, gratuitous swearing, rudeness, and sarcastic and generally offensive, abrasive humour. They derided us as whingeing poms, and they in turn were bragging Aussies. They referred to …

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