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Views And Reviews

The barber trembles

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 20 August 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:545
  1. C Douglas

    From time to time over the past 15 years he has cut my hair, trimmed my beard, asked after my family, told me about his own and, not least, worried aloud about his health. Much of our time together seems to be taken up with the last. As I think of him now, a fragment from an undergraduate course then still called public health surfaces: barbers are not a healthy lot.

    The barber is a gregarious and enterprising man who has risen from inauspicious beginnings to own a thriving little business, but he has had more even than his epidemiological share of ailments. I know because he talks in detail about them to all his medical customers, whose company …

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