Beards, academia, and anaesthesia: a controlled study

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 21 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1643
  1. John Curran, consultant anaesthetista,
  2. Brian Pollard, senior lecturer in anaesthesiab
  1. a Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham NG5 1PB
  2. b Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Curran.

    One of us (BP) believes that beards, a natural state of affairs, signify wisdom. The other thinks that they are dirty, suiting woolly minded academics disinclined to arise for the morning ablutions. A controlled study was needed.

    Subjects, methods, and results

    All 62 readily identifiable male professors, readers, and senior lecturers and 83 NHS consultants in anaesthesia unwittingly took part in a controlled study. The NHS group was randomly selected from a seated block at a recent anaesthetic scientific meeting, data being recorded on the back of its programme (2B blunt pencil). Academics' details were recorded into an electronic spreadsheet (Excel version 6 running on an …

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