Intended for healthcare professionals


Divided we fall (yet again)

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 29 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1100
  1. T Grabham

    “Hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately,” “Unity is strength”, “United we stand - divided we fall,” - all time worn cliches but relevant to doctors today, facing an intransigent government that has little regard for the views of our - or any other - profession. Doctors have wide and varied responsibilities, and inevitably many separate representative bodies and a somewhat diffuse leadership have developed.

    The “premier division” contains three or possibly four players: the General Medical Council, the royal colleges (and their conference), and the BMA. To these well defined groups may be added academic medicine and research together with many other smaller but important groupings, such as the Overseas Doctors Association and the Medical Women's Federation. The effectiveness of these bodies varies with the issues under consideration and the abilities of their current leadership. By and large, most seem to perform well when operating within their own specialist fields. But most have less authority and influence when dealing with the more general issues that face the whole profession such as broad medicopolitical matters, the great ethical problems, manpower, and training.

    Lately the profession's ability to influence the government seems to have declined (if not disappeared), and …

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