Serious disease saves life

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 11 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:h
  1. G Boss
  1. retired chest physician in London

    My first contact with medicine was in the 1930s, watching my father perform tonsillectomies in his consulting room. The patient, usually a child, would be strapped to the pedestal and arms of a revolving chair, small children sitting on their mother's knee. A few drops of ether on the Schimmelbusch mask induced unconsciousness–more or less–and postoperative haemostasis was assisted by consuming an icecream which, at a given signal, I hurried out to buy. Until my father could afford his own premises, he had shared his father's consulting room, which was divided by a curtain. My grandfather, a general practitioner, would suggest to a patient that perhaps all was not …

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