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Network of “medical buddies” is needed

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 28 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1908

Doctors must admit that they are human

  1. Glin Bennet, Psychiatrista
  1. a 44 Wellington Park, Bristol BS8 2UW
  2. b Eye Department, General Infirmary at Leeds, Leeds LS2 9NS

    Editor—It is good to see that Richard Smith is moving the debate on beyond the valuable programmes for sick doctors to the idea of doctors taking care of themselves and their immediate colleagues.1 Ten years ago I published a book on this subject and so have had time to observe the reactions of doctors to the idea that the roots of our malfunctioning are best assumed to lie within ourselves.2 The simple yet crucial requirement is for doctors to accept that they are vulnerable human beings–as vulnerable, if not more so, than the people they are employed to help.

    There is a deep rooted resistance to this notion in the collective medical psyche. Thus too many doctors cut themselves off from their feeling and compassion, …

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