Observations BMJ Confidential

Harvey Marcovitch: Editor, poacher, gamekeeper

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3206 (Published 12 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3206

Biography

Harvey Marcovitch, a consultant paediatrician for 25 years, believes in telling the story of medicine in language that all can understand. He began by writing features and a gossip column for World Medicine and was spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health during its first decade. He put his principles into practice at the Archives of Disease in Childhood when offered the editorship “out of the blue.” His warning to would-be editors is not to expect to be loved: “In general, the only people who love editors are their wives, husbands, children, and parents.” He left clinical practice at 59 to become editor of Black’s Medical Dictionary and Clinical Risk, as well as chairing fitness to practise panels for the General Medical Council and its successor, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a foreign correspondent. I would quite like to have been John …

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